God's plan is for his people to go take his gospel to the nations. See this post for more on why it's important to grow a mission heart in our kids. But how to do that? Well, there are so many ways we could. Here are 4 quick tips to get you started.
Not everyone trusts Jesus
The starting point for a heart of mission is an awareness of the need for mission. Lots of kids growing up in the church can easily think that everyone believes in Jesus. Help your kids know that this isn't the case. Be clear that the majority of people in their street, suburb, city, country and world don't follow Jesus. Let them know that there are millions of people on the planet who have never even heard of Jesus. Let this stir them towards mission.
Pray for the nations
One great way to care for the nations is to pray for them. Pray for all the nations. Close your eyes and point at a country on the map, and then pray for them. If a country is mentioned in conversation, or on TV, or the Aussies are battling another country in sport, take a moment to pray for that country. The more you pray for other nations, the more your kids will care about other nations, and care about the most important things! If you wanna push a bit deeper, this book will help you do it!
Adopt a missionary
Another option is to link in with a real life missionary. Connect with one through your church or a mission agency (see CMS for example). But hearing real news from a real person currently doing cross-cultural mission work puts flesh on the idea. There will be real stories. Real things to pray for. Real fruit to witness. Write them letters. Have video correspondence. Get your kids involved. (Email us if you want to get connected with someone to help in this).
One thing I have found particularly useful is to practise telling the nations about Jesus, even in our own house. If you've got a 2-year-old, get them to run into other rooms in the house (which are now other countries of course!) and shout 'Jesus'. Get your 10-year-old to do the same, but think about what they might need to wear, what they will say etc. Get your teenager to find a country on the world map, and do some research about how they would go about being a missionary to that nation. Practise with each other and have some fun with it.
We'd love to hear other simple ideas of encouraging mission hearts in your kids. Comment below with things you've tried.