Family, missionaries, family photo

My family can’t live on mission. We’re too human. My kids fight, and I yell at them for fighting. I can’t even keep up with laundry.

Sound familiar?

The Big Fat Lie About Missions

A friend said those words standing at my front door, but she didn’t know that five minutes earlier I was arguing with my teen and dealing with a whiny second grader.

Some days in my loud and messy house I know we live out this grace thing in ugly ways.

We often think we have to have it all together before we can do something for God. And if we believe this lie, then we’re right in one way—we will never fulfill God’s mission for our family.

The Starting Point for Serving God

Living on mission doesn’t start with doing something for God; it begins with what He has done for us.

“Is my family called to missions?” is the wrong question because it was answered long ago.

It’s simple. God called all of us—families included—to welcome others into His family. As Ann Dunagan said, “God’s mission for the family is expanding God’s family.”

We are called to go in spite of our mess. God wants obedience, not perfection. Consider these five ways to serve with your family in this New Year.

1. Brainstorm Ways to Serve

One conversation can make a world of difference.

Sit with your kids and talk about what it means to live on mission and the call to grow God’s family. Talk about ways you can do this as a family. Pray together.

2. Write a Family Mission Statement

Start by completing this statement, “We believe God wants us to do _______ this year.” Then decide how you can answer this call in your own family, with your neighbors and friends, at church and around the world.

3. Put the Mission Statement on Display

Work together to create a fun and artistic display for your mission statement in a place where the family can see it. (We painted ours on an old pallet.)

4. Hang a World Map

Find a world map and place it in your home where everyone can see it. Choose a country for which you will pray. Learn about the people, culture and religion.

Ask God to bless this people group. You can also do things like find a recipe from the country and cook it for dinner, or celebrate a tradition from their culture.

5. Bless Your Neighbors

Choose a neighbor to bless in some way. Maybe he is elderly and needs help with yard work, or maybe she has a new baby, and a meal or plate of cookies will bless her.

Start the year off right. Focus your family on the mission God has given you.

Article courtesy of HomeLife magazine.

Kristen Welch writes at her parenting blog, We are THAT family, and offers an honest mixture of humor and inspiration. She is the author of Don’t Make Me Come Up There and Rhinestone Jesus. In 2010, Kristen, her husband and their three children founded a non-profit maternity home, The Mercy House, to help impoverished teen girls in Kenya.