You may have heard this common statement in regard to missions: "Some are called to go, but others are called to pray or to give." I believe this is true -- and that all of us as Christians are equally called to do our unique part in helping to fulfill the Great Commission.
As we train our children, we need to emphasize that God has blessed each of us for a bigger purpose than merely to satisfy our own wants and desires. Like Abraham, God has blessed us to establish His covenant on the earth. If your part (or your child's part) in helping to fulfill His Great Commission is to support world missions financially, then you need to trust God to meet your needs, and you need to begin to expand your desire to help others.
If you or your child is called to be a "giver," then begin to think (and dream) about what your money and future financial resources could do for God. Instead of browsing through department stores, catalogs, and eBay, be on the lookout for projects and people that God may want you to support. Of course, we must provide for our personal needs and prepare for our future, but as stewards of God's Great Commission we must be willing to abandon our dreams for God's dream!
One Child and a Few Coins Make a Big Difference
One young boy named Ethan heard of a mission project to sponsor a little Ugandan orphan boy at our ministry's new orphanage. Although he was only eight years old, Ethan wanted to sponsor this child personally; and with his mother's permission, he made the commitment. Right away, Ethan began collecting coins from all around his house. He started asking friends at church if they could donate spare change to help an orphan. And he set up a simple lemonade and cookie stand in a parking lot near his house. With homemade signs covered with marking-pen exclamation points and a photo of his new African friend, this young boy soon raised over six months of full orphan support -- all on his own initiative. And even after three years, Ethan is faithfully remembering his African friend; all throughout this time, Ethan has kept up his lemonade stand . . . and his sponsorship commitment.
Whether we are called to go or to pray or to give, the level of commitment to God's purposes should be the same for all of us; and this is a vital principle to instill in the next generation.
This article is excerpted from from Ann's book, The Mission-Minded Child - Raising a New Generation to Fulfill God's Purpose (Authentic, 2007).
With a passion for the Lord and the lost, Ann is an international minister alongside her husband, a homeschooling mother of seven, and the author of several books including The Mission-Minded Family