Keeping Ministry Attractive to your Children

October 24, 2012

Don't miss a single post! Subscribe below and receive them in your Inbox!

As part of celebrating my first Blog-i-versary, I am re-posting some of my favorite posts which capture the heart of NoSuperHeroes. This post is one I enjoy because it captures the tension of missions and family. In the stage of life our family is, this is just as real today as when I wrote it.  Check back all week for more great posts and giveaways.

“When I grow up, I want to be just like Daddy!”

There is nothing better as a Dad than to hear your kids say they want to do a job similar to yours. Both my sons have recently expressed a desire to be either Bible teachers or missionaries, just like good ol’ Dad.

Having guest posted in the past on Christian Supermom, I’ve been thinking about things in terms of parenting. It led me to consider what we’ve done as a family in missions and ministry to make this attractive to our children. We’ve all heard horror stories of P.K.’s (Pastors Kids), M.K.’s (Missionary Kids), and W.K.’s (Whatever other ministry oriented kid turned out bad).

While my wife and I have a long way to go to declare success, here are some things we have been practicing to keep missions appealing.

1. Priorities
I can hear all the above mentioned K’s shouting “Amen”. Most families with the dreaded K syndrome, are linked to more time, energy, and focus being placed on ministry than family. It’s fashionable to say “family first”, but much harder to live that out. It will require making sacrifices, many schedules, and constantly re-evaluating the season your family is in.

Billy Graham, when looking back over his life and ministry, had one regret. He wished to have spent more time with his family. You can read about it in his autobiography, “Just As I Am”

2. Boundaries
Going hand in hand with priorities, is making decisions to keep boundaries. Since our children are young, we have made the decision for only one of us to attend evening meetings. We want to place a priority on the boy’s routine. This also gives each one of us the chance to have some quality time with the two boys before bed.

There are little choices that need to be made like this each day. Your checklist never gets fully accomplished, so something has to give. I am currently reading a book by Andy Stanley I bought in response to his leadership podcast. In Choosing to Cheat, Andy shows how everyone cheats. You will either rob your family of time or you will create that time by trimming things in your ministry.

3. Protect them from some of the Ugliness
On several occasions my wife or I, have stopped friends from telling horror stories of crime or human failure in front of our children. They will learn the ugliness that missions brings soon enough. We do not want to keep them in a bubble, just ease them into real life. Living on the mission field, they still have to confront issues of crime and poverty in their own childlike ways.

4. Involve them
Seemingly contradicting a previous point, this is the balancing act of parenting. Our kids love being involved in the ministry. They recite testimonies from our weekly staff meetings, know the people we work with, and put their faith with ours when we dream bigger than ourselves.

My wife was a pastor’s kid when she was growing up (still is actually). She recounts with fondness sitting at the top of the stairs, eavesdropping on board meetings. Her father was excellent at involving her, even asking her opinion on things. He made ministry attractive!

5. Advertise them
Ok, this might sound a bit like exploitation. Hear me out.

Present your mission as a family mission. When we are at home visiting churches, we always bring the kids on stage with us. In our newsletters, there is always a corner for what is going on in their lives. We’ve found that other young families in churches connect with us, and have become a part of our team.

6. Be Positive
Your children will know more than anyone if you really do not love the people you minister to or the nation you are in. Love what God has called you to and they will too.

Do you have anything to add to the list? What makes ministry or missions attractive to your kids?

If you enjoyed this, take a look at Servanthood or Superiority?

Don't miss a single post! Subscribe below and receive them in your Inbox!

Chris

Posts Twitter Facebook

A missionary teacher for 24 years currently living in South Africa. I am a recovering superhero, daily in need of the grace of God