Today’s blog post comes from Alicia Clark. Alicia is the wife of Matt Clark, Associate Pastor of International Church Planting at The Summit Church.  Matt & Alicia have two young boys, Brantley & Brayden and are passionate about the mission of God going forward both locally and globally.

I believe I’m right in thinking that our hearts resonate with the mission of God in the world. Many of us have even served overseas, whether it be on a short term trip or perhaps on a longer stint. When we think of the individuals we met along the way, we either celebrate their faith in Jesus or prayerfully ache for them to finally see and follow him.  We know that one of Christ’s promises regarding his return is that the gospel will first be preached to all nations (Matt. 24:14), and that fills us with a joyful eagerness to see his mission completed!

Yet many of us feel like we have a different primary mission field right now.  If your house is anything like mine, our days are filled with snuggling and shepherding children (mine are 4 1/2 and 2 1/2 year old boys), planning meals, doing laundry, running errands, focusing on small group, and some of you work a part- or full-time job in addition to all of that! How do we begin to convey God’s heart for the nations to our kids, when those nations are out of sight & mind?

It seems to me that gospel advancement has two main fronts:  the home and the world.  It is clear that we are to prayerfully and intentionally pass along the gospel to the next generation, beginning with our own families (Deut. 6, Eph. 6, Ps. 78).  It is also clear that we are all to be involved in disciple-making in the world (Matt. 28:19-20).

Our family is still learning how to unite these fronts.  We long for our boys to both love Jesus and love his mission, so we are excited to share some great tools and resources that are helping us thus far. If you have anything else you would like to add to the list, please comment!

  • Read Noel Piper’s article “Homegrown World Christians.” I LOVE her perspective and practical ideas!
  • Post a world map somewhere at home and surround it w/prayer cards.  We have one in our stairwell.  It creates a lot of opportunities to learn where various continents and countries are, learn where various church-planting friends live, and pray for the nations.  Here is the map we have.
  • Sponsor a Compassion kid!  Right now, we sponsor a little boy who is the same age as our oldest. FYI – Compassion Weekend is coming up May 17-18 at all campuses!
  • Discover the church planter your small group is partnering with… get on their email list, organize a care package (from your small group) for them, check out a kids’ book about the country in which they live… P.s. If your small group is not currently partnering with a Summit church planter, please encourage your group leader to contact my husband Matt Clark at mclark@summitrdu.com!
  • Look for opportunities to get to know families from other countries who live here, even in your neighborhood.  Pray for them with your kids and ask God to draw them to himself, and to use your family to do it.
  • Pray for the nations with your kids.  Pastor J.D. recently preached about how “morning prayers” should be about asking for God’s will in the world – especially, the advancement of his kingdom.  Here is a great tool to help guide those prayers: Prayer Videos | Operation World
  • Check out the Kids on Mission website that helps educate kids about the spiritual needs of the world and the lives of missionary kids in various countries.

What are other ways you and your family engage with God’s mission in the world? 



One thought on “Engaging our Families in Overseas Missions

  1. Another idea — take your kid(s) overseas! Have them taste the food, meet people and learn the language and culture of different people. Talk about the lostness that you see. Visit your missionary friends that you pray for! I think many people assume that it is impossible to travel with young kids or that it is prohibitively expensive (and for some people and in certain seasons it definitely can be!) but we think nothing beats getting our family out there to see it and experience it for ourselves.

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