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Life on Mission as a Family

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As a family, we know we are called to love our neighbors and be a “light” to our community,
family and those around us. We are convinced that there is a clear CALLING in scripture to honor and
glorify God by spreading His Good News. There is a clear NEED in this world to find forgiveness of sins
and a relationship with God through Christ. And there is a clear PURPOSE for His followers to live as
ambassadors to the world.

Throughout our Christian lives, how Matt and I have lived this out has taken on different forms.
Here's what has stayed the same throughout our single days, dating, engagement, early marriage and now
being a family of four with two young kids:

• We want to live as though every person in our lives God has put there for a reason. Every
difficult family member, every co-worker we pass by in our building and greet with a smile as we
walk by without ever speaking, and every neighbor surrounding us of all ages, gender, and race.
• We want to live as though, hard as this life might be at times, the greatest thing to fear is a life
outside of God's promises and, even worse, an eternity apart from Him. What is worse than
cancer? Having cancer without knowing Christ. What is worse than depression? Having
depression without any hope in Christ. And even those we would consider “thiving” in life have
nothing apart from knowing Christ because fame, glory, material things, great looks, etc. are of no
value when you don't know Christ. Everyone has the same desperate need that trumps all other
needs: hope in Christ.
• We want to live as though we have nothing in and of ourselves to offer anyone but because we
know Christ, we have EVERYTHING to offer someone. The Holy Spirit is alive in me.
Therefore, God can use EVEN me. I have the power of HIS WORDS to share. I have the power
of PRAYER to pray for people. If I focus too much on my own insecurities or weaknesses, I'll be
hindered from seeing what God wants to do through me.
• We want to live as though we trust God to do the heart work that we are incapable of doing. We
want to find the hunger that God has already created. My job isn't to argue, lecture or twist
someone's arm into the faith. I don't have to have the best arguments for why we believe the Bible
to be infallible. I can start the conversation with good questions and genuine curiosity of
someone's spiritual life (or lack thereof) without needing the perfect responses. Prayer is our
greatest tool in seeing someone's heart change.
• We want to live as though this topic of faith that can be intimidating to approach with someone is
actually a topic that people in the world are craving to have with someone they trust.

Here are some practical ways as a family to live “on mission”:
• Take the time to SEE the people around you. Stop, smile, start a conversation, show genuine
interest in others. This week I was in the middle of yard work when I turned off my lawn mower
to interact with neighbors as they walked down the sidewalk. My husband joined the conversation
and was able to give them a ride to the grocery store so that they didn't have to continue their walk
to the bus stop (90 year old woman walking in 90 degree heat). I'm so glad that we took the time
to “see” them. We hope this is one deposit of many that could open a door to a significant
spiritual conversation.
• Talk about God in your normal, everyday conversations. “God is teaching me to be more
patient with my children” or “Praise God He answered my prayer about my aunt's health,” or
“God is working in my life in these ways...” This language will spark curiosity in the watching
• Think about how you might use your time, money, relationships, talents, possessions to
serve and love others. I have a great backyard for kids. I get to bless many young mom friends
by inviting the children over so that she can have some time to do things she wouldn't otherwise
get to do. Yesterday it was so that my neighbor could mow. Today it was so my friend could go
to the gym. Pretty regular occurrence over here. All that we have belongs to God. How can you
be faithful with what you have? It is certainly not to store up for yourself.
• Be available. Clear your schedule. I'm not saying, “don't do anything.” I'm just saying clear
your schedule so that you can be available to think intentionally for how to spend your time.
What is “the need of the hour?” We need space from our busy schedules to think, “Who can we have over tonight?” or “How can we bless the family who just moved in across the street?”
• Food is always a great way to serve people. We keep frozen burgers and hotdogs in the freezer,
ready to pull out at any given notice. We are also likely to have ice cream, ingredients for s'mores,
drinks, or packaged snacks for the little ones. We want to live ready to invite someone over, even
if it's on a whim. And even if it's “just” a frozen burger.
• Ask questions. My friend once told me, “When you don't know what to say, just ask questions
because everyone seems to like to talk about themselves.” That was about 20 years ago and has
proven mostly true! My advice, if you've worked through the basic get-to-know you questions is
to now ask open ended questions that trigger emotions. For example: “What is your favorite thing
about living in Nashville?” or “What are the difficult things about motherhood in this season?'
Eventually, you might pray God opens the door for even deeper spiritual questions like, “Did you
grow up in church?” or “What would you say it takes for someone to go to heaven?”
• Partner with the church – don't do this alone. As I connect with something who may not be in
church, my prayer is always that they would come to know the Lord AND that they would get
plugged in to my church with me. My church is filled with women and men who love the Lord
and point me to Truth on a weekly, sometimes daily, basis. I want to always be thinking ways to
connect my non-believing friends with other believers so that they can see the beauty of the Body
lived out. Tomorrow, my mentor and I are meeting with a friend of mine at a park to study the
Bible together. My mentor and I are better together.

To live missionally is to surrender the idea that this life is mine to live on my own and for my own. I died
to living for myself when I became a Christian. Now, I see life through an eternal lens and want to be
faithful to truly love those around me by sharing God's love in my actions and in my conversation.