Being Confident of This

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3 Important Traits of a Missional Believer

Today I’m honored to share a word from Rosilind Jukic, the author of the newly released Missional Handbook. If you want to know more about The Missional Handbook, be sure to visit Monday’s post with my brief review.

 

The small eBook sat on my hard drive for nearly a decade. It was a project I had begun as a rookie missionary in Tuzla, Bosnia where God challenged every classic notion I had about missions. During my 3-month stay in Bosnia I received a number of emails asking about missions and how one could prepare to become a missionary. The slower pace of that small town enabled me to take ample time to reflect on these important questions, which led to more questions, and what poured out was a small document that was abandoned for nearly a decade while God allowed those thoughts to mature and deepen.

In this complex idea of missional living that today’s church is trying so hard to grasp, there are three things that stand out to me as being most important

Three important traits of every missional believer.

1. Realize that all believers are called be missionaries.

Some are called to foreign missions while others are called to local missions. Some are called to full-time missions while others are called to be missional at the workplace. Wherever we are, we are standing on a mission field and are called to bring God’s kingdom to bear in our realm of influence: no matter how narrow or wide that realm may be.

2.  Recognize the power of motivation

The era of spectatorship is over. It is time for the lay people to arise with the power and authority given them in Christ and fulfill Christ’s command. Pastors, missionaries and evangelists cannot and should not do it all. Jesus spent 3 years training and empowering His disciples to minister, and those disciples trained and empowered the early church to minister. Local people reaching those within their sphere of influence is what the 21st century missional community must look like!

3. Understand the force of multiplication

If one missionary successfully reaches ten souls, then those ten souls have the potential to reach one hundred souls. If those one hundred souls each reach ten souls, one thousand new souls have been won for Christ! If one thousand believers reach ten new souls, ten thousand new souls have entered the kingdom. The concept of multiplication is seen throughout scripture. Unfortunately, it is not prevalent on today’s mission field. We still operate under the old system of missionaries carving out new works on foreign fields. This is not as necessary as it was 150 years ago. However, what is very necessary is mentorship. Most countries need quality, seasoned believers to mentor them in effective soul-winning, ministry leadership and discipleship. Mentorship creates multiplication. Multiplication allows the flood of the gospel to sweep a nation with an atomic force.

After leaving Bosnia in March 2006, I returned to Croatia where I have served in a small local church in Zagreb. Over these past eight and a half years I have watched these three traits in action. I have added to that small abandoned booklet and it has finally been released in what I simply titled “The Missional Handbook”.  The Missional Handbook examines missional living on local, technological, and global levels, each from many varied angles.

A missionary is simply a believer who takes the message of the gospel to the lost, wherever they may be. What is your sphere of influence? The neighborhood park? Your work place? The classroom? That is where Christ has commissioned you to be a missionary.

I pray that as you read this book, that it’s simple challenge will cause you reexamine all you’ve thought missions to be, and find new and innovative ways to become missional right where you are!

Rosilind is an American girl married to a Bosnian guy who lives in a
small village just outside of Zagreb. They have two crazy boys who are
as opposite as boys can be. When Rosilind isn’t writing, she is dreaming
up recipes and searching for ways to organize her home better. She is
the founder and author of Missional Call – a resource center and community for missionaries and those who are passionate about missions.

 

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What Makes a Missionary?

I recently finished reading Rosilind Jukic’s new release The Missional Handbook, a handy guide for those considering a missionary lifestyle and even those simply interested in missions work.  In it, the author addresses a key question that is often misunderstood: what makes someone a missionary?

from Missional Call

 

I remember struggling with this question in my early years of college, when I was searching for God’s plan for my life.      After my years spent as an MK (missionary kid) on the field of Papua New Guinea, I knew the urgent need for career missionaries and I felt a real burden for unreached people groups.  So, of course, I assumed I would be an overseas missionary someday. 🙂

Oh, how the Lord has a way of changing our best-laid plans!  Once I met my husband, I began to consider a different ministry, that of pastor’s wife.  Even before we married, I wholeheartedly embraced the role of youth leader and helpmeet to my husband, who was a young youth minister.  I found purpose and contentment in this role.

But then our first child came along and I was no longer as free to be involved with my husband’s ministry. Life became busy and more complicated, as it usually does after children. 🙂  Suddenly, the role I thought I was meant for had to be put aside while I focused on raising our son.  I began to feel like a bit of a failure since I wasn’t “serving the Lord” in the way I thought I should be, one of many undesired sacrifices I offered up in my attempt to earn the approval He freely gives!

Fast forward a year or two and we decided to take an extended break from full-time ministry.  We had marital issues that needed tending to, as well as wounds from the past we both needed to deal with.  It was a difficult time for both of us as we often felt like failures.  We questioned God’s path for us, for our future.

It took me a few years, but slowly I began to learn the truth that Rosilind Jukic shares in The Missional Handbook – we can and should minister right where we are! We should all be involved in missionary work, whether it be in our homes, on our streets, in our churches, or overseas.  Eventually, I began to see that mothering itself is a ministry, a mission field of sorts – we should be missionaries first in our own homes to the young minds we have been entrusted with!

from Missional Call

So, if you are ever tempted to think, I’m just a mom – what can I possibly do?, recognize that as the voice of the Great Deceiver.  He likes us to believe that ministry work only “counts” if titles and positions like missionary or pastor are involved.  He likes to make investing in others more about us and  less about Christ.  He wants us apathetic and discouraged and feeling like failures.  Because then we are paralyzed to do the work God has set before us.

If you desire to reach others with the Good News, begin right where you are!

Ask the Lord to show you those He has put in your path.  Ask Him to bring you someone to mentor or disciple (and then be ready for a possibly surprising answer!).  Or perhaps you are mother to young children?  Begin right there in your home. Be intentional about teaching your children biblical truth (don’t just leave it to the church).  Be intentional about teaching them the importance of missions, too!

It’s never too late to start being a missionary.

In fact, you probably already are one whether you realize it or not. 🙂

For more information on modern missions work, be sure to check out Rosilind’s new book, The Missional Handbook    (buy before Wednesday when the sale ends!)

The Missional Handbook available now!

In this book, you’ll find first-hand experiences of missionaries entering overseas fields and tips for potential missionaries.  You’ll also find Jukic’s  unique ideas on how missions work needs to be modernized to be more effective, and practical ways that readers can become more missions-minded right in their own countries.  I especially enjoyed her section on “uncommon” missionaries, the question and answer section, and the personal accounts she includes in the bonus section of her book.  You’ll even find a short story from me and one from another MK!

So, be a missionary every da-ay! (Anyone else know that song??)

Jen 🙂

If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy our Much Ado About Missions series – practical resources and methods for teaching children the importance of reaching the unreached.

I may be sharing this with any of these lovely blogs and here:

A Little R &R, Missional Call, Cornerstone Confessions, A Mama’s Story, My Joy-filled Life,

Finding Heaven Today, Wholehearted Home

 

 

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Cultivating Christmas: The Christmas Adventure Box

The Christmas Adventure Box ~ an easy, kid-friendly advent for the whole family!

Last week I noticed a not-so-subtle change in our four-year-old daughter.  She contracted a terrible case of the “I needs.”  She needs a new doll for Christmas.  She needs a Barbie house for Christmas.  She really, really neeeeeeeeeeds a bike for Christmas…

While I understand her four-year-old behavior is typical, I dislike that her attitude can so easily become prevalent in our home during the Christmas season.  It happens so quickly.  We look at a few store ads, watch a few commercials, and we easily become convinced, even us grown-ups, that we have needs we have never had before!! 🙂

My husband and I purposed to combat the commercialism of Christmas and cultivate true Christmas spirit in our home many years ago. We looked for resources to use for our young and growing family.  We invested in Veggietales dvds about the true meaning of Christmas and a kid-friendly nativity set.  We participated in Operation Christmas Child, and we worked at local outreach events.   We read the Christmas story from the Bible on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning.

But we still felt like our children needed to be better educated about why we do some of the traditional things we do at Christmas time. Enter the Christmas Adventure Box – a family Advent activity.

The Christmas Adventure Box, family advent, kid-friendly holiday fun, Christmas traditions, advent for kids

 

 

My friend  and fellow blogger Lana introduced us to the Christmas Adventure Box, a family advent activity/program that she developed for her own family.   The idea of the box was to complete daily (or several times weekly, for us) advent activities to help us remember the Greatest Gift of All, Jesus.  It was an immediate hit with our oldest two boys, especially with the word “adventure” in the title!

I know the last thing we all need during the Christmas season is yet another item for our “lists” of things to do (so please, please don’t feel pressured).  However, this family advent plan takes literally less than an hour to organize and the activities can take as little as five minutes or as long as 20-30 minutes depending on how involved you wish to make it (or how long your four year olds will sit still…) It really is a simple, but fun way to focus on the reason for the season! 🙂

Update: it’s even easier this year because I’ve added FREE printables that you can attach directly to the items in your box! Just click the link above. 🙂

Lana has created a blog specifically for the Christmas Adventure Box which you can find here.  If you want a full 25 day advent list, then I recommend visiting her site.  It’s very detailed and even has a lesson-plan type of format that would be particularly helpful for those who homeschool, teach children’s church, etc.

However, for our family, I’ve found that it’s less stressful to schedule only a few nights a week of kid-friendly advent activity.  So with permission, I’ve modified the Christmas Adventure Box to fit our schedule and even added in a few items that were important to us, such as spending one day on global missions.  That’s the beauty of this family advent activity – you can tailor it to fit the needs or even the traditions of your family! 🙂

Here’s how to get started:
Choose which activities you’ll be using (from the list below or from Lana’s site) for your family advent and wrap the according items.  Don’t forget to download and print the cards to attach to each item! Put all of the items into a large box (The Christmas Adventure Box) and wrap it as well.   Each day that you plan to use the Christmas Adventure Box, you’ll unwrap one (0r more) of the items and complete that day’s devotional/activity.

The Greatest Gift  –  read John 3:16 – unwrap the Christmas Adventure Box.

This will be the first activity on the advent list because it sets up the whole idea of the Christmas Adventure Box.  However, once you’ve completed this day, you can do any of the following days in whichever order you choose.    First, bring out the large, wrapped Christmas Adventure Box.  Explain to your children that you will be unwrapping an item a few times a week in order to learn more about Jesus this Christmas season.  Read John 3:16 and talk about how Jesus is the greatest gift of all.  You can also read prophecies from Isaiah about the Promised Deliverer.  Feel free to share the full gospel with your children and pray together as a family.

Nativity, The Christmas Adventure Box, kid-friendly advent, family advent, Christmas traditions, fun Christmas activity

 

Joseph and Mary – read Luke 1:30-33 – unwrap Joseph and Mary from your nativity set.

We purchased a fisher price little people nativity set several years ago when our twins were born, which makes it easier to let them “play” with the figures.  If you have littles in the house, be sure to choose a non-breakable set to work with.  On this day, you’ll read the story of Jesus’ parents learning that Mary was with child!  Discuss the prophecies fulfilled by Mary and Joseph found in Isaiah 9:7 and Isaiah 7:14.  Talk about promises God has kept for your family and pray together.

Baby Jesus – read Luke 2:6-7 – unwrap the baby Jesus figure from your nativity set.

Today you can discuss once again that Jesus was a gift, not only to His parents, but to the whole world.  Talk about the birth stories of each one of your children – how you planned for them, waited for them, and the joy of experiencing their birth.  Ask your children to find similarities and differences between their births and Jesus’ birth.  Pray together as a family, thanking Him for each family member and most of all, for the gift of a Savior.

Shepherds and Angels – read Luke 2:8-20 – unwrap the shepherd and angel figures from your nativity set.

Discuss a time when your family had exciting news to share.  Think about how the angels and shepherds must have felt sharing such important news.  Talk about how important it is that we continue to share the story of Jesus with anyone who hasn’t yet heard and pray together, especially for any unsaved relatives or friends.

The Wise Men – read Mt. 2:1-2, 10-11 – unwrap the wise men from your nativity set.

Talk about how the wise men had never heard about a Savior being born, but they still knew to follow the star.  Discuss the ways that God reveals himself to us today.  Pray together as a family that your knowledge of God’s ways would increase.

Kid-friendly advent activities for Christmas

Light of the World – read Mt. 5:14-16 – unwrap a notecard that says “Christmas Adventure!” on it.

Discuss light and dark.  Ask your children how Jesus is the Light of the World.  Then, pile everyone into your vehicle and go on an adventure to see some Christmas lights!  (You can continue discussion as you travel).  Be sure to pray together as a family.  *I try to schedule this night on a weekend so that we can allow the children to have  sleepover by the Christmas tree.  It’s one of our boys’ favorite traditions.

Legend of the Candy Cane – read Isaiah 53:5 – unwrap a candy cane.

Read your children a brief version of the legend of the candy cane and discuss why we use them in our Christmas decorations.  And yes, Pray together.

Joy to the World – read Mt. 28:19-20 – unwrap a small globe or picture of the world.

Tell your children about things we have in America that help us to know who God is (a Bible in our own language, churches we can attend, freedom of religion, etc.).  Discuss how other countries may or may not have these items.  Explain the importance of reaching the whole world with the Good News about the Greatest Gift.  Pray as a family for most unreached people groups of the world (if you need an easy way to pray for the most unreached peoples, use the T.H.U.M.B. method here.)

The Legend of Saint Nicholas – read Gal. 2:10 – unwrap socks or a stocking.

Read a brief version of the Legend of Saint Nicholas to your children.  Talk about ways your family can pass on the gift of Christmas to others by being generous.  Watch the Veggietales video, Saint Nicholas:  The Joy of Giving. (Hint: many veggietales videos can be found on Netflix, including this one.  No need to purchase!)  Pray together for a generous spirit during this season rather than a coveting spirit.  *This would be the perfect place to include a service project such as Operation Christmas Child or serving at a local soup kitchen.

Christmas Adventure Box, family advent

Christmas Caroling – read Rev. 5:12 – unwrap a note that reads “Christmas Adventure!”

Talk about the importance of singing God’s praises.  Take the whole family for an adventure in Christmas caroling and spread some cheer to your neighbors or even shut-ins from your church.  Local nursing homes usually welcome carolers, as well!  Pray together as a family.

The Baker’s Hand – read Isaiah 64:8 – unwrap cookie cutters.

Make and decorate sugar cookies (if you have small or impatient children as I do, it’s a good idea to make the dough ahead of time).  While you are working, discuss how God shapes us according to His purposes and how we are each uniquely created and uniquely gifted by Him.  Pray as a family, asking the Lord to help each one remember that they are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Christmas Adventure Box, kid-friendly Advent activity

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas – read Thessalonians 2:15-16 – unwrap a nativity story dvd or a “Christmas Adventure!” notecard.

We have two different takes on this day’s advent activity.  In the past we have used one or the other, or sometimes both!  The first is to watch a dvd about the Christmas story, such as A Nativity Story. The second is to attend a local candlelight service, if you have one near you.  Both options will work to help you review what you have learned throughout the month of December and to celebrate this special evening.  Our family also has a tradition of an evening meal of summer sausage, crackers, cheese, and hot cocoa.  I know it sounds weird, but most of those items were obtainable when we lived in Papua New Guinea during my MK years.  I have such fond memories of making the most of Christmas in a tropical country that we decided to continue it once we were married. 🙂

Christmas Day – read Luke 2:1-20 and unwrap a Bible (shhh – don’t tell, but this year we plan to get preschool Bibles as gifts for our twins!).

Today, enjoy family and gift-giving and fun all within the context of celebrating Jesus’ birthday! 🙂

The Christmas Adventure Box collage, Nativity, Christmas, Advent activities for families, kid-friendly advent, Christmas traditions, fun Christmas activities, family fun

That’s it!  The Christmas Adventure Box is a simple, kid-friendly advent activity to emphasize Christ in your home this Christmas season.  The best part?  It doesn’t cost a dime!  Just pick the days you wish to use or even add a few of your own, wrap up the necessary items, and you are ready to go. Remember, I’ve only included my favorites here, so if you want a full list, visit Lana’s site.  Enjoy!

Jen 🙂

If you are looking for additional Christ-centered Christmas resources to use in your home or at your church, check out Buck Denver’s Asks…What’s in the Bible series for Christmas!

You might find me linking up at any of these lovely blogs.

Also sharing with: Beauty Through Imperfection, Missional Call, Mom’s The Word,

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Much Ado about Missions: Praying T.H.U.M.B.

We’ve reached  the third and final week of our Much Ado about Missions series – helping you develop a missions mindset in your home!  If you missed the Introduction to this series, you can view it here.  Also, if you need to catch up, you can find all of the posts listed under the weekly wrap-ups:  Week 1 (teaching missions in the home) or Week 2 (missions experiences for the whole family).

In our third week, we’re focusing on praying for the Nations.  I don’t know about you, but I often pray for unsaved friends and family members.  And since my husband is a pastor, I sometimes even remember to pray for the unsaved in our local community.  I also pray for our missionary friends and those we support.  However, one thing I very seldom remember to do is pray for the most unreached people groups of the world!

Today I’m going to share with you the T.H.U.M.B. method, borrowed (with permission) from some new missionary friends.  The T.H.U.M.B. method is unique because it focuses on praying for the largest unreached people groups according to specific prayer points based on the spiritual beliefs of those groups.

Much Ado about Missions, how tonpray for unreached people groups, praying for the lost using T.H.U.M.B. method

One important distinction to make is that unreached people groups aren’t simply unsaved people.  Unsaved people will always exist on earth until the end of time.  However, the Bible is clear that all nations must be reached with the gospel before Christ will return.  Unreached people groups are those who have literally no gospel presence.

It’s not just that they are unsaved, but that they also have absolutely no opportunity to learn of salvation! Whole generations of men, women, and children are being born, living, and dying without ever hearing of God’s provision in the form of Jesus.

As a follower of Christ, I would like to be more intentional about praying for these unreached peoples, that they might have the opportunity to hear the Good News for God’s glory!  My plan is to use the T.H.U.M.B. method and pray for one group each day of the week, Monday through Friday.  One apsect of T.H.U.M.B. that I love most is that it is so easy to remember!

Much Ado About Missions: Praying T.H.U.M.B., praying for unreached people groups, missions, the THUMB method of praying for the

T – Tribal groups – as you might imagine, these are people who live in remote locations, some only reachable by helicopter or boat or weeks of hiking.  They have their own languages, cultures, and spiritual beliefs.  Many tribal people live in fear of upsetting the spirits, beings they believe are responsible for the health of family members, the growth of crops, and so forth.  So, when bad things happen, it’s because the spirits are unhappy and must be appeased.  Often these beliefs lead to tragedies such as witch trials, ritualistic deaths, beatings and other brutality. These people live in oppressive spiritual darkness.

H – Hindus – Hindus worship many, many gods.  Therefore, one of the challenges missionaries and believers face in sharing the gospel with Hindus is differentiating between their gods and the One True God.  Sadly, Jesus can easily become just one more god that they add on.

U – Unbelievers in China – they cheated a little on this one to fit the acronym. 🙂  The unbelieving in China are over a billion strong!  One of the unique challenges faced by missionaries to this particular unreached people group is that because of the communist government, believers must be careful about how they share their faith.  China is not fully open to missionaries, so many believers enter as teachers, businessmen and women, and so forth. They work jobs while also trying to learn Chinese and develop discipling relationships with others.

M – Muslims – the Islam religion is spreading world-wide.  Muslims believe in only one god, Allah, but they believe that Jesus was merely a prophet, like so many other prophets.  The Islam faith rests on the pillars of Islam, many of which are based on “good works.” Like China, many parts of the Muslim world are still completely closed off to missionary presence.

B – Buddhists – There are various forms of Buddhism, but most Buddhists do not believe in a god or gods.  They do, however, follow the teachings of a man  named Buddha, who emphasized the need to understand self and the world in a more “enlightened” way.  While I don’t understand all of the Buddhist beliefs and practices, I do know that much of it is based on personal efforts.  Thus, the need for a Savior is a foreign concept.

For more information on the T.H.U.M.B. technique and its specific praying points, please visit Beyond the Bullingtons – the Bullington’s are nearing the end of their training to be church-planting missionaries with New Tribes Mission.

Much Ado About Missions: Praying T.H.U.M.B., praying for unreached people groups, missions, the THUMB method of praying for the

Why not make praying T.H.U.M.B. part of your daily or weekly prayer routine?  As your children, or even grandchildren, grow old enough to understand, you can teach them this acronym so that they might pray for the largest unreached people groups alongside you.

You might even consider praying for a different unreached group at a certain time of day, such as a mealtime or  bedtime.  The acronym is easy to remember, so why not connect it to an easy-to-remember time of day?  As I mentioned in the introduction to this series, nearly a third of the world’s total population remains unreached.  Praying is one way that we can all do our part!

How can you use the T.H.U.M.B. method in your home?

Jen : )

You may find me at any of these lovely blogs.

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Much Ado about Missions: Week 2 Wrap-up

Image

We’ve reached the end of week 2 of our Much Ado about Missions blog-hop series, and I can’t believe how quickly it has gone!  If you missed the Introduction, be sure to read it, and if you missed Week 1, all about teaching missions in the home, you can find the links here.

This week we focused less on what to do within the home and more on missional experiences your family can participate in within your community and even the world.  We choose to be intentional about making the most of such opportunities so that our children will develop God’s heart for the nations.  In case you missed any of this week’s posts, I’ll share them here.  I shared about missions experiences for the whole family in The Missions Experience.  Sarah shared about making the most of holidays with Holidays and a Higher Purpose.  Angie shared about involving your children in reaching your community in Get the Kids Involved.

In week 3, we’ll focus on the power of prayer!  You can find Monday’s post right here at Being Confident of This, Wednesday’s post at Love Notes, and Friday’s post at My Four Monkeys.

Thanks for joining us in our endeavor to become more missions minded in our homes and families.  I hope you have found inspiration to do the same in your own homes, whatever your “family” might look like. 🙂

In the meantime, consider what some of the most unreached peoples (now reached, Praise the Lord!) have to say about reaching the lost:

Does your heart hurt, too?

Jen 🙂

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Much Ado about Missions: The Experience

Much Ado about Missions

Today marks the beginning of week two of our Much Ado about Missions blog-hop series.  In case you’re joining us for the first time, in the first week we zeroed in on the need for emphasizing global missions and how we can accomplish that even within our homes.  I shared an introductory post about why the need is so great (and so often misunderstood) and then followed up with a post on 8 Resources for Teaching Missions in the Home.  Sarah, from Love Notes, wrote an excellent post on how to engage children’s hearts by engaging their hands in The Missional M&Ms.  Angie, from My Four Monkeys, finished off the week with a fantastic craft to introduce the concept of missions in Introducing Missions to Little Ones.  If you missed any of these posts. you might want to catch up before we delve into this week’s topic. 🙂

While we discussed impacting our homes in week one, this week we’ll be discussing how to impact our communities and even our world.  So, week two will be more about missions experience opportunities and outreach opportunities for you and your family no matter what your circumstances!

If you’ve been following this blog, you know that my husband is a minister in a small country town.  So, by nature of his job, our family experiences a lot of community outreach through our church and even aside from the church.   However, we also want our family to be involved in things that have an impact beyond our community.  We want to be mindful of the needs in that great big world out there and have the Lord’s heart for the nations.  I listened to a sermon recently given by a missionary who said that he drove a single mile  to the church he was speaking at that morning and passed 3 churches on the way! Yet in an unreached people group in China that is 15 million strong, not a single church exists. Not. One.

So, I’m going to start out the week by challenging you to leave the comfort of your own home, your own city, your own state and try something as a family that could potentially change many lives.  My husband and I want our children to understand the importance of global missions as much as they understand community service and outreach, and that requires us to stretch beyond what is comfortable.   Experiencing firsthand is so much more powerful than just hearing about it from missionaries who come to speak at church or your former MK wife/mother. 🙂 So, we’ve put together a very brief list of experiences that could benefit the whole family.

the missions experience

Church missions trips – If your church is offering a missions trip experience, this would be the perfect way for you, and possibly your family, to experience and serve alongside a missionary that your church is already connected with.  While  heading into unfamiliar territory, you would at least have the comfort of travelling and experiencing right alongside other members of your church.  This type of trip helps you to better understand the need as well as the missionaries you help support.

Wayumi – if  leaving your home country to serve in a remote location scares the pants off of you, or just isn’t possible for medical reasons, etc., why not start with a missions experiences available right here in America through New Tribes Mission?  You can spend anywhere from 1 day to a week at Wayumi, a center located in Pennsylvania, and be exposed to other cultures, the trials of language study, and so forth.  Although the experience offers very realistic replications of tribal huts, tribal foods, and so on, some modern conveniences are still available.  It’s a way to learn about missions and perhaps even stretch yourself and your family a bit, but the cost is significantly less than an overseas trip.

Serve with New Tribes Mission (NTM) – http://usa.ntm.org/go – this non-denominational mission that focuses on church planting along with scripture translation offerst a variety of opportunties for families and even college students.  Short term, service-based trips last anywhere from 2-4 weeks, while longer stays of a year are necessary for associate workers who go to fill an immediate need.  College students can even earn credits through the Interface internship program in Papua New Guinea.

World Changershttp://www.lifeway.com/worldchangers/index.php/about/ – is a program for youth through college age students.  These trips usually take place in the summer months, when groups travel to specific cities to complete community service projects.  In the past, some groups have gone to inner city ministries, disaster areas for restoration projects, etc.  This is not your everyday community service.  Students complete bible study/training beforehand, including learning how to use evangelistic tools.  If you have or know a youth, this program is an excellent way to teach them how to be someone who changes the world!

These are just a very few of the multitude of opportunities to serve your world beyond your neighborhood, your town, your state, even your country!  What can your family do to stretch and grow beyond what is normal and familiar to you?  How might you consider helping to reach the most unreached peoples of the Earth, the third of our world  population who currently have no hope?

I know that God asks believers to fill a variety of roles in the Body, of which missions is only one.  But I also know that God’s heart is for all nations, not just the one we live in.  I read another missionary comment recently that said what is most needed is not more money.  He reminded us, “Jesus is the fishes and loaves guy.”  What is needed is those who will be willing to advocate for the most unreached people groups and those who will be willing to answer the call of “Whom can I send?”

Deny self

As I mentioned in the Introduction of this blog-hop, I don’t have all of the answers, even for our family.  I believe it is something that all Christians should prayerfully consider. How will you respond?

Jen 🙂

If you know of another firsthand missions experience opportunity, please feel free to share with the readers in the comments!

Want to learn more about the value of a firsthand missions experience for teens?  Read here:
http://www.wordslingersok.com/2013/07/7-reasons-teens-need-to-go-on-short-term-mission-trips-2/

You may find me at any of these lovely blogs.

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Much Ado about Missions: Week One Wrap-up

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We have the final post in our Much Ado about Missions blog-hop live now, so I thought I would put all of the posts together here on a summary page for easy access.  If you are new to the blog-hop, please be sure to start with the introduction.  It contains important information that all believers should be aware of, and it explains the heart behind this blog-hop. 🙂

Much Ado about Missions Week One:

Introduction – they why behind it all

8 Resources for Teaching Missions in the Home

The Missional M&Ms

Teaching Missions with Crafts

In week two, we’ll be discussing ideas for experiencing missions and serving outside of the home, so stay tuned!  Monday’s post can be found at Being Confident of this, Wednesday’s post can be found at  Love Notes, and Friday’s post at  My Four Monkeys.

Thank you for joining us in making missions a priority!

Jen 🙂

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Much Ado about Missions: 8 Resources for Teaching Missions

Much Ado about Missions: 8 Resources for Teaching Missions

Much Ado about Missions

As I mentioned in my last post, Global Missions has really been on my mind and heart recently, so I’ve joined forces with two amazing bloggers to do a series of posts on developing a missions mindset within the home.  This week our focus is on ways to teach or emphasize missions in our own homes.  Sarah from Love Notes and Angie from My Four Monkeys will be posting their ideas later this week!   I can’t wait to see what they come up with since they are both naturally creative. 🙂

When I began researching for materials on missions to use with our four children (ages 4 through 13) in the home, I was pleasantly surprised by the variety of options available! I’ve compiled a list of favorite finds to share with you all.

Best resources for teaching Missions

Best resources for teaching Missions

1.       Growing Up Wild dvds and websitehttp://thewildbrothers.com –is about a family of missionaries living in a tribe in Indonesian Guinea (check info. to confirm).  This dvd series is unique because the missionary children are the ones narrating and introducing topics rather than the adults.   The Wild brothers even have their own blog! So far, we have only watched the video clips available on the website, but we plan to purchase or borrow a dvd or two from this series.

2.        Caravan Friends websitehttp://caravanfriends.org/ – is about the peoples of Asia – a country in the most unreached sector of the world.  I love this website and so did my four children (ages four to thirteen)! It is colorful and aesthetically pleasing.  The characters they have created help teach children about different areas of Asia, and my children love them!  The videos were interesting to watch and after watching one only twice, my seven-year old was spouting off facts about the people groups there.  The stories are easy to read and not too long.  In fact, I had our seven-year old read several to his younger siblings and he was able.  The website also includes resources for parents and teachers such as: printables, coloring pages, suggested activities (seriously, check out the activities tab for some amazing ideas), etc.  This would be the perfect site for someone wanting to lead a class on Missions for children, for a free homeschool curriculum resource, or for Children’s Church, Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, etc.
3.       Traiblazer Series of books by Dave and Neta Jacksonhttp://www.amazon.com/Trailblazers-Featuring-Livingstone-Christian-Trailblazer/dp/0764207296/ref=pd_sim_b_4 –  we just discovered this series of books and so far, the kiddos love them, even our thirteen-year-old son! 🙂  This series doesn’t solely focus on missionaries, but also on other Heroes of the Faith, such as Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther, etc.  Each biography is told from the point of a young, fictional narrator.  Right now we are nearly finished with the Samuel Morris story, and we have requests to read more of it nearly every day.  It’s one book that I have actually been tempted to read more of on my own, even!  Our four-year-old twins will usually only sit for one chapter at a time, but older children could easily read several chapters.  I was happy to find that amazon carries used copies of volumes that contain 5 stories each!  We bought several volumes for less than $20.  The volume pictured below features Harriet Tubman, but it also has 4 other biographies in it. 🙂

trailblazers

4.       Kids on Mission websitehttp://kidsonmission.org/ – this website is put out by the International Missions Board of  the Southern Baptist denomination.   This website offers a subscription that will provide you with a quarterly release on DVD.  However, according to the website, if you are willing to download the files from the internet, you can access them for free!  Under the prayer tab, there are even prayer requests from missionary kids themselves.

5.       New Tribes Missionhttp://usa.ntm.org/ – is the organization that my parents worked through as missionaries to Papua New Guinea (PNG).  On this site you can find individual missionary pages and newsletters, as well as general information.  While this website is designed for adults rather than children, I included it because they often upload new videos from various tribes around the world. I know my children enjoy seeing what it’s really like on the mission field or hearing about missions from tribal people themselves.  One note of caution:  not all stories are appropriate for all ages.  Be sure to preview the videos before showing them to your children.  Also, I forgot to mention that NTM publishes a magazine full of brief missionary stories that we often read to our children.  This resource, NTM@Work, is completely free.  All that is required of you is to go to the websitehttp://usa.ntm.org/may-2013-magazine  to sign up for it! 🙂

Go therefore verse

6.       Torchlighter DVD series – is very similar to the Trailblazer books in that it focuses on Heroes of the Faith, but in a dvd format rather than a book format.  We do not yet own any torchlighter dvds, but they are on the wish list. J  You can also find them on Amazon and perhaps on e-bay, as well. The animated features are about 30 minutes in length.  See here for an example: www.torchlighters.org
7.       Windows on the Worldhttp://www.exodusbooks.com/details.aspx?id=7073 – is a curriculum that focuses on specific people groups, and their culture and beliefs.  Some of the information is factual in nature, but there are also stories about the people who live there and ways for children to pray for that particular group.
8.       Missionary Stories with the Millershttp://www.amazon.com/books/dp/0962764345 – This book of short stories about real life events that missionaries have experienced was recommended to me by a friend.  I have not yet purchased a copy, but according to my friend, the stories are shorter in nature.  You can find this inexpensive resource on Amazon as well.

As I shared previously, I sometimes struggle with the question of “Am I doing enough?”  But I know that this is a good start, to teach my children of the great need. (It doesn’t hurt for me to learn more about the various people groups in need, either!)  Who knows?  We could be raising the next generation of missionaries right within our own homes!

The next post in the bloghop can be found over at  Love Notes . Sarah shared more about engaging our children’s hearts in missions in Missional M&Ms!

If you have a tried and true resource for teaching Missions at home, would you please share with us in the comments?  Thanks!

Jen 🙂

Also sharing this post with: Hive Resources

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Much Ado about Missions: Introduction

Much Ado about Missions

I’m very excited to introduce you to a bloghop series taking place here over the next few weeks – Much Ado about Missions! This series has been in the works for over a month now and I’ve been eagerly anticipating the kick-off!  Since I spent the majority of my growing up years as an MK (missionary kid), global missions is a subject close to my heart.  But lately, I’ve been plagued by questions of  Am I doing enough? and What else can I do?

I’m very blessed to have two other bloggers join me in this missions series, as we attempt to answer some of these questions.

           My sister Sarah, from Love Notes,  not only grew up on the mission field, she also elected to return to PNG  (Papua New Guinea) for a while during her single years.  Currently, she and her minister husband serve at a church in Ohio, as well as at the local city mission.  She is also mama to a step-daughter, an adopted child, and several foster children.

     My blog-savvy cousin Angie, from My Four Monkeys, is a homeschooling mama of four.  Angie writes all over the web for companies like Tommy Nelson and Alex Toys, as well as on her own blog.  She also serves faithfully in her local church, alongside her husband.

So what’s the big deal about global missions anyway?  We’re all called to be missionaries where we live, right?  We should be sharing the gospel in our homes, with our neighbors and co-workers, and so forth.

missions waiting for good news Source of info: The Joshua Project

The big deal is that nearly one-third of the world’s total population remains unreached, meaning these people have had little to no opportunity to hear the message of salvation!  They often live in fear of evil spirits or gods and sometimes even participate in horrors like witch-burnings and ritual killings out of those fears.  Some are trapped by societal boundaries of caste systems or governmental boundaries such as communism.

While we here in America are blessed to find churches on many street corners and  bibles not only in our own language, but also in a plethora of translations, our overseas friends are not.  Even driving down the highway, we often see crosses or billboards proclaiming God’s truth.  And with the rise of the Internet, the possibilities are further increased!  Those unsaved relatives, friends, and neighbors might not know Jesus personally, but most of them at least know of Him.

But for a tribal man, woman, or child in an unreached location, the gospel message is simply not present. By some estimates, the ratio of American churches to unreached people groups  is 140:1.  One hundred forty American churches for every one group of people still waiting to hear the Good News! Are you as surprised by that number as I am?  As a minister’s wife, I know the unsaved are with us here too, but the need for these unreached people groups is even more urgent yet often more easily ignored.  They have no neighbors who believe, no Bibles to read, no billboards, no Internet, no gospel tracts, no revivals, no churches, no outreach ministries… nothing to connect them with life-giving Good News!

We have a responsibility as Christ-followers  to reach out to the unsaved on all levels – within our families, our local communities, our countries, and yes, even our world! Let’s not forget our overseas brothers and sisters who are without hope.

go ye

We must be involved with global missions in some way (even if we can’t physically go ourselves), and we must teach our children the importance of reaching the unreached, whether they live nearby or  halfway around the world. Not to be “good” Christians or to pat ourselves on the back but because…

People.

 are.

 dying.  

without ever having even a single opportunity to hear of the Father’s great love for us, without a chance to experience true freedom.

Please take a moment to view this powerful message from the Joshua Project. I promise it will be worth your time! Be sure to watch it to the very end – the last few seconds are important.

So, what can we do?  We may not all be able to go at this point in time, so how can we reach out beyond what is comfortable to us? How can we foster a missions mindset in our homes?  I’ll be honest with you that I struggle with these questions.   What exactly does the Lord require of me and our family in regards to missions?

I don’t have all of the answers, even for myself.  My husband is a pastor and much of our “missions” work occurs right here in our neighborhood, but I am convinced that I must not forget that there is a world of dying, unreached people out there, as well.  I hope this series will answer at the least a few of those questions for us and for you, our readers.

We are excited to share with you some amazing materials and methods for teaching missions in your home or in your church, as well as ways to experience missions as a family, and even ways to pray specifically for the most unreached people groups of the world.

In addition to my own posts, I’ll be sharing links to the other bloggers’ posts both here on Being Confident of This and on the facebook page. I hope you’ll join us for the next few weeks as we explore the area of global missions! 

The first post, 8 Resources for Teaching Missions in the Home, is live now!

Jen 🙂

For more statistics on why the need is so great, read here:

http://writtenreality.com/209-million-is-a-very-big-number/

http://weheartnepal.wordpress.com/2013/06/24/life-in-the-fll-why-we-do-what-we-do-part-2/

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