“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations.” —Matthew 28:19
When our kids were growing up my husband did an incredible job of cultivating in them a love for the world. Often he would orchestrate “culture night” to teach the kids about some far away country. Other times, he’d pull out a map or atlas while I was making dinner. As He showed them amazing pictures of faraway places and peoples groups, He often posed the question, “Do you think they know Jesus?”
Those family discussions paved the way for mission trips when our kids were teens and young adults. Though they often laughed about the “culture nights” they experienced as little kids, every single one of them went on at least one overseas missions trip during their high school years. If you asked them, they would tell you those trips were a pivotal part of their spiritual transformation.
Jesus said, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19) As generations come up behind us, it’s imperative that we develop in them a heart for presenting Jesus to the world. There are lots of ways to do this. Here are just a few ideas:
Friends of ours have a globe. Each night their kids take turns spinning the globe and pointing to a country. That child then praises God for what He is doing in that part of the world and prays that Jesus will bring revival to that country.
Another family sponsor’s a child through Compassion International. The family takes time not only to pray for the child they sponsor but also for the country. They praise God for what He is doing in that country and ask Him to reveal Himself more.
You might consider facetiming or skyping with missionaries. Or, you might create placemats to represent different countries and then pray for those nations at dinner. You might take your kids out for ethnic food and then praise God for what He is doing in that area of the world.
No matter what approach you take, God will be honored as you cultivate in your kids a heart for the world.
Be creative and intentional. As you do this you will help your kids develop the mindset of being on mission with Jesus.
Questions for Reflection
- In your opinion how important is it for kids to develop an appreciation for different cultures?
- How might giving your kids a heart for the world, influence their lives in years to come?