How to be a missional family. Family volunteering and being intentional
Paradigms

The Missional Family: Reflecting Christ’s Love in Everyday Life

The missional family …

Every Christian family should be a lighthouse to reflect Jesus to the world (cf. Matthew 5:14-16). American theologian and ethicist Russell D. Moore says the Christian family is to effect “consciences and personalities and souls … transforming how countless people see God, the Gospel, and themselves … [by seeing] a reflection of something of what God is like.”

So, how do families reflect what Jesus is like? By being intentionally missional.

How to be a missional family.

Here’s what you do:

Start a conversation at home.

Being a missional family begins with asking and answering three key questions: Are we a family on mission? What is our mission? What can we do together? Invite everyone’s input. Discuss your needs, concerns, hopes, dreams, challenges, and opportunities. Is your mission consistent with God’s purpose and plan? Is it biblical?

Create a family motto.

A family motto is unifying, empowering, provides certainty and offers security. It should encapsulate Christian beliefs or ideals, capture how God wants you to live, and clarify and reinforce core values. To be memorable, it should be seven words or less. Get suggestions from all the family members. Use the Scriptures to guide you. For example: “With God, nothing’s impossible” (Luke 1:37), “We serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15), “Our future’s as bright as our faith” (Proverbs 23:18), or “Just do it!” (James 1:22).

Pray together.

Praying together helps a family draw closer to God, look to Him for guidance, and rely on His provision. It also prioritizes faith and enables a family to develop a godly perspective. When a family prays together, they become more aware of and concerned for their neighbour’s need for Jesus—a vital perspective for cultivating a missional mindset. So, pray for the neighbours God puts on your heart.

Draw a map of your neighbourhood.

Who are your neighbours? What are their names and needs? If you don’t know, take regular walks with your family, say hello and introduce yourselves to people. Use what you learn to draw a map of your neighbourhood that identifies the buildings and people living there. When it’s completed, you may want to paste sticky notes on it with prayer requests.

Initiate conversations.

Being missional is being the church wherever you are. Everywhere we go, there are people to talk to. The grocery store, park, beach, coffee shop, and social media are all opportunities to connect with others. Integrate relationship building into the fabric of your everyday life. Pray for God’s appointments, look out for them, and start conversations.

Invite others to join you.

Missional families walk closely with Jesus and invite others to follow Him. Get several families together to walk around your local school and pray for the students and teachers, or team up with another Christian family to help at a community event.

Exercise hospitality.

How hospitality is practiced and ritualized allows our neighbours to experience God’s love. Find ways to welcome, nurture, shelter, equip, and encourage those who enter the family’s realm. Do this by inviting someone to your home for a meal, cooking or baking for a neighbour, or taking someone out for coffee/tea.

Be generous.

Generosity reminds us that life isn’t all about us, and as such, it transforms the hearts and values of family members. More than just money, it’s being rich in good deeds and sharing with others (Hebrews 13:16, 1 Timothy 6:18). It’s paying for a stranger’s meal or drink, writing a letter of encouragement, mowing a neighbour’s lawn when they’re sick, giving someone a ride to work, and so on.

Volunteer.

Volunteering helps children realize they can make a significant difference in Christ’s name. Find an organization or group of people serving the community, join them, and help as a family. There are many opportunities, like assisting the homeless, serving seniors, conserving the environment, visiting the sick, coaching a team, or tutoring ESL.

Create space.

Stop thinking of your family on mission as a task and start living it out the way you are. Most families are busy, so chat about your priorities and intentionally set time aside to be missional.

Ultimately, being a missional family is about walking closely with Jesus and inviting others to follow Him. While you do good works, share the stories behind your choice to follow Jesus and offer opportunities for questions, prayer and healing.

[Note: There are many types of “families.” Some are parents with children, others empty nesters, some are college students or siblings living together, and others are single adults. In this article, “family” is a designation for any Christian household.]

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Purpose of the Family

© Scripture Union, 2024

2 Corinthians 4:5

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2 Comment

  1. Imagine the transformative power if 10 families in your neighborhood embraced these tips! Picture a vibrant community thriving with shared values and actions. Now, there’s a catalyst to turn this vision into reality. Explore the free workshop curriculum available on the max7.org website and take the first step towards creating positive change in your neighborhood. (https://www.max7.org/en/resource/familiesonmissionworkshoptrainingguide)

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