One of the most important directives of the Bible is Mark 16:15, which says, “[Jesus] said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.’” How do we know it’s one of the most important? Because these are Jesus’ parting words to His disciples. He was leaving the earth for heaven, but He wanted the work to continue. Jesus has a heart for missions, and He wants us—and our children—to have the same.
I’m a mom of ten children, ages six to twenty-seven. Having a heart for missions has always been important to me, and it’s something I’ve aspired to grow within my children. My oldest daughter has wanted to be a missionary since she was nine years old. She’s currently twenty-four years old, and she’s been living and serving as a missionary in the Czech Republic for the last four years. I asked Leslie to share ideas for how parents can raise kids with a heart for missions. Her ideas all focused on the parents’ hearts first.
1. Have a Heart for Missions Yourself. “The most important thing is for the parents themselves to cultivate a passion for missions,” says Leslie. “When the children see their parents’ heart for the lost of the world, they will have it, too.”
2. Educate Yourself. Leslie recommends parents inform themselves about mission work throughout the world. Consider taking a course such as Perspectives to learn about the state of missions and opportunities in the world today. “Perspectives is one of the best tools for exploring God’s heart for the world. Whether someone wants to go, send, pray, mobilize, or welcome, it helps God’s followers recognize the needs of the world and the commission we share.”
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