A few years ago the idea of discovering your purpose for life and/or ministry was a hot topic of conversation. There were books written about it, small groups meeting about it, conversations and workshops and church sermons about it. Maybe you weren’t caught up in that wave and have no idea what I am talking about, but I was. After all, who does not want to know what the purpose of life is, specifically our own life? Right?
Even after all the hype died down, the idea of wanting purpose still remains. How often do you say, or hear someone say, “Where do the days go?” There are times when I sit in the quiet of the morning with my coffee and wonder. Ok, I think about it a lot. I am in my 40s. I have been married for 14 years. I am living in Indiana, the 5th state I have called home. My kids are growing up so fast and life is not slowing down. When I think about the future, I can’t help but think about my kids. Are we giving them what they need to be secure, content, confident, successful, happy? Do they have hope in a world where there is so much chaos and pain? How will they contribute to the world? How will they live as Christians in a world that does not look anything like God’s intended creation?
Brian and I talk often about our life together and our family. As Christians, there is a deep longing in our hearts for our kids to know God and His love for them and His grace given to us through Jesus. It does not end there though. We also want them to be a light to this world and spread the hope and grace we have in Jesus. If they are to be part of God’s healing in this world, we need to start building that foundation now.
The daunting question: Where do we start?
Our family gathers around the breakfast table just about every morning before Brian heads off to work. We talk about our hopes for the day, read from our devotion/Bible and pray together. At night we gather together before bed to share highs and lows from our day, remember Jesus’ promises to us and pray together. Those simple times are helping build a strong foundation of faith in our children. We see evidence of that, and we praise God for that. Now, how do we teach them to shine to those around us? How do we teach them to be like Jesus in a world that does not look like Him at all. Well, we figured it needed to start with us, the parents, modeling what living as a disciple/follower of Jesus can look like and taking them on this journey with us.
For a long time (about a year), Brian and I prayed about how God wanted us to do this. We did not just want to jump into everything and anything that came our way. We wanted to step into the areas where God was already at work in our lives, the places that intersected with our life as a family in our natural rhythm. We just did not have time to add things to our calendar. So we prayed. A lot.
As Brian wrote in his blog post, Awakening, God led us to a vision for our family. In some ways it felt too simple. We always hung out with families. We have kids. We do things with others who have kids. However, we began to realize that it was more than just hanging out with other families that God wanted us to do. I’ve talked about it before, but life can be a hard road. Being able to invite others into our lives, encouraging, supporting, serving and loving each other, has had a huge effect on us as a family. It brings us deep joy and purpose as a family of God on this journey of life. To watch God at work in the lives of others, through us, is humbling. We can think of no better way to build a strong foundation for our kids. We are a family. We love Jesus. We do life together. We do mission together. We are a Family ON Mission, not just a family who tries to navigate life. We do that, but with an intentional purpose now.
It might seem strange to develop a Family Missional Vision. We have experienced the fruit from doing it, so we can not help but encourage others to give it a try. God has a vision for you and your family. He wants us all to be a part of His redemption plan for the world and His children. Now that is exciting stuff!
Does your family already have a Missional Vision? We would love to hear what it is and how it has impacted your family.