The Great Commission, Jesus’ command to go into the world and make disciples, stands at the heart of evangelicalism ― yet what does this mean for stay-at-home mothers? This calling to engage the world for Christ is given to every believer, and it does not change when we become mothers. But it is also true that when children enter the picture, our lives are changed dramatically.
Not all moms are called to pick up their families and move to a needier neighborhood; not all moms are meant to lobby in front of world leaders. But a mom who chooses to say, “I am willing. And God can,” can have a powerful missional influence wherever she is.
There is no formula for how to become a mom who engages with the world. But here are four steps to consider if you would like to move from a posture of retreating from the world into one that addresses its needs.
- Place yourself where you can see, hear, and become aware of the needs around you. Read newspapers and magazines to keep current with what is happening in the world. Sign up to be a part of the One Campaign.
- Pray that the Holy Spirit would speak to you if there is a particular issue He wants you to address or confront. Ask specifically that the Spirit would move in your heart in a strong way so you can discern God’s leading.
- Probe to gain a deeper understanding of a particular issue that is calling for your attention. You can start simply by responding to the tugging on your heart by doing more research to understand the issue better.
- Participate with God in helping combat the issue with concrete steps of action. These actions can be as small as picking up the telephone or signing an online petition in support of legislation; they could be bigger steps of faith as you grow in your knowledge and understanding of how God wants to use you. As you begin to take concrete steps of faith, your way will become clearer regarding how God will use you to make a difference in the world.
As you adopt a missional outlook, I encourage you to keep your eyes, ears, hearts, and minds open to where and how God might want to use you. You may never relocate your family to a poor neighborhood or fly off to Africa, but God can use you in big and small ways, if you will let Him.
One way to adopt a missional outlook is to understand your home as a missional outpost ― a place where you nurture and raise your children for a lifetime of participating in God’s mission to the world. Your home is a base for powerful missional activity to take place: invite neighborhood kids over for lunch and pray together before the meal, sponsor a child in a foreign country, or have your kids help you pick out grocery items for your church’s food pantry.
Whether you are in a vocational setting, a school volunteer committee, at the grocery store or school music rehearsal, or a neighborhood playgroup, you have the chance to do God’s work ― in other words, to be missional.
Helen Lee is the author of The Missional Mom: Living with Purpose at Home and in the World, which released in January from Moody Publishers. Helen is a homeschooling mom of three and lives with her family in Chicagoland.
Would you like to win a copy of The Missional Mom? We have FIVE copies to give away! To enter, simply comment with one way you (or your wife … or someone you know!) tries to be missional in their parenting.
Winners will be picked July 27, 2011. One comment person person, please. USA only. LifeWay employees are not eligible to win.