3 Keys to Being on Mission Together as Families
By Eric Simmons
I was at a church the other day and while looking at their promotional materials, I saw a tagline that read, “where faith and life collide.” To be clear, I think this is an awesome tagline and this church is doing good work. Yet, I couldn’t help but think this tagline would be more accurate in describing what happens in our homes, rather than what takes place in our churches.
Faith and life collide in the home long before any family shows up at their place of worship. The most influential people in a child’s life are their parents, so what happens in the home Monday through Saturday has far greater potential at solidifying a Christ-centered faith in the heart of a child than what takes place for a few hours on Sundays. As such, it is essential for parents to live out their faith with their children, but what does that look like? How can families be on a mission to fulfill the Great Commission together?
Regardless of your season of life, there is no greater time to start living on mission as a family than right now.
Parents, if we are going to be on mission together as a family, we must make it a priority to be physically, and emotionally, present. We need to get off our phones. We need to engage our children (and neighbors) in deep conversations. We need to talk to them about the gospel, why they believe (or don’t believe) God exists, what friends they have who are unbelievers, etc. In order to have these types of conversations, we have to be present in their lives.
Intentionally seek opportunities to live out the Great Commission. Take family walks around your neighborhood so you can meet your neighbors, and intentionally engage in conversation with those you don’t know. Play in the front yard so you can interact with those people who walk by your house. Take your family where you know people are going to be (e.g. pool, public park, etc.). Allow your children to provide ideas on how — as a family — you can share the gospel in word and deed.
Do you know the names of your neighbors? Do you know the names of your child’s friends? What about their parents…do you know their names? Are you intentionally engaging them with the purpose of building a relationship? Are you praying for them? Being relational means making it personal. Host a cookout and invite your neighbors, your kids’ friends, and their parents, and seek to build personal relationships that lead to gospel-sharing opportunities.
I know that we are all in different seasons of life. Some have toddlers, some have teens, and others have every age in between. While it is easier to cultivate a missional lifestyle as a family when our kids are younger, it is still possible to do when they are older. Remember, you are the most powerful influence in your child’s life. Regardless of your season of life, there is no greater time to start living on mission as a family than right now. So, be present, be intentional and be relational — then watch how God moves in the hearts and lives of your children and those around you.
Eric Simmons is one of the Associate Pastors at Summerfield First Baptist Church. He has the privelege of working with students in Alive Youth Ministries.