Ideas for being a missional mom this summer
Blog post by Kati Berreth How can I be a missional mom?
So moms how are you doing? Almost 2 full weeks of kids being home from school or taking a break from formal schooling with little to no routine. It is freeing and also can be exhausting as most kids are used to a schedule and the change and inconsistencies in their day can throw them off. And if you are anything like me, you are spending a lot of time and energy trying to do activities to make the summer super fun. And this is as it should be when we do this out of love for our children since we are called to love them in Titus 2.4.
And yet ladies, I believe that there is and can be more to our summers than simply taking our kids to the dollar movies, driving them to this camp or that VBS, or even sitting by the pool while our kids have swim lessons texting our friends. We get the opportunity to instead do all of the above things but with Gospel intentionality.
Deuteronomy 6.4-7 says:
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”
And Mark 12:38 adds:
“The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Turning our everyday life experiences into missional moments
What if the day you plan to take your kids to the dollar movies you invite one of your or your child’s non-Christian friends to come along and simply do life with you? Simply inviting others into the normal rhythms of your life is one of the best ways to introduce them to Jesus. They get to see real life Christians, which makes caricatures so much harder to embrace. They get to see you love and forgive and fight and mess up and all the while point to Jesus who never messed up.
And in order to help your kids see this as a missional opportunity, plan on spending time in prayer for those friends before you go for boldness and openness in conversations to discuss how amazing Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross is and how it is impacting your life. Not only does this show your kids how to “love your neighbor as yourself” but it is also “teaching them diligently” to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”
You can also do this by inviting friends to VBS with your kids or to the Firs or other camps and especially as you sit by the pool or the soccer field or the basketball court at camps. Sports are an amazing way to get to know other parents and families. There are not many other opportunities in life that give you a minimum of a solid hour to engage with strangers. And although it is tempting to take these “break times” where your child is engaged and use them to run errands or read a good book, these times can also be well spent engaging the lost. Now, don't get me wrong, take breaks times too. That's good and right and Godly. But also, see these as missional opportunities as that's good and right and Godly too.
Over the years at swim lessons and soccer and basketball practice, Rob and I have met some great friends as well as had the opportunity to share the gospel – all because we were given hours each week to spend time with the same people getting to know them and share our lives with each other. It has been a great chance to be intentional with our time as well as a chance to disciple our kids by teaching them to be missionaries, which is an essential part of who we are as ambassadors for Jesus. They need to see mom and dad experiencing life with people that don't know Jesus so they know how to do life with people that don't know Jesus.
How the Gospel applies to our attempts, efforts, and ineptness at being missional.
And yet ladies, as I write these things, my fear is that you, like me, will say, “Sure, Kati, I can do this.” And it will become just one more thing to add onto an already busy day or be a burden to you as you think about the fact that during swim lessons is the only chance you get to sit in peace for an hour during the day.
Please take these suggestions and pray over them. Pray for the Holy Spirit to move you to have a heart for the lost and have words to share when you get the opportunity to. Pray and ask for wisdom for where you do need a break and trust that Jesus' work for you is enough. Pray and ask for confidence that you are accepted because Jesus is the perfect missionary, not you. Pray every morning for your love of the Lord to grow so that you might love Him with all your heart, soul, and might desiring to teach this love to your children and share it with your neighbors. And pray for God to control your days – your summer and that you might use it to be missionally intentional because Jesus is amazing and we want the world to know Him.
grace and peace,