Posted on October 19, 2015
How Can I Be a Missional Mum?
I have to start this post with a confession.
I have been a Christian since 1998. But until this year, I had never heard the word “missional”. ‘Mission’? Yes. ‘Missionary’? Yes. But, ‘Missional’? No.
I first heard the term from a reader who commented on my 10 Ways to Give on a Budget post, earlier in the year. At the end of the same week, a lovely new friend, not realising my ignorance about this new-found word, gave me a book to read- Ordinary Mum, Extraordinary Mission. You’ll never guess what the book was about… That’s right, it was all about living as a missional woman. Perhaps God was trying to tell me something?!
I have since been learning more about becoming a missional woman, through reading books such as KP Yohannnan’s excellent Revolution in World Missions, (also lent to me by my new friend!), and finding resources on the internet. Revolution in World Missions is available directly from Gospel from Asia here. I highly recommend it to all Christian readers, and there is no excuse not to get a copy, as it is free! You can also listen to KP Yohannan’s online podcast for free here.
According to Wikipedia, ‘missional’ means ‘the adoption of the posture, thinking, behaviors, and practices of a missionary in order to engage others with the gospel message.’
Something that is very encouraging to me, is that I, as a stay at home mum, can reach out to others with the love and truth of Jesus. I can do this, not despite being a stay at home mum, but as part of who I already am! Being at home with children does not have to stop me from reaching out to others at all; I can find creative ways to do this as part of my everyday life, rather than thinking that it is only possible for me to make a difference if I could only get some time on my own.
Mission Begins at Home
Sally Clarkson talks about this, and shows that we can start with ‘outreach’ to our own children! God has blessed us with these wonderful children, and given us as their parents, the responsibility to ‘…not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.’ (Eph. 6:4); and ‘Impress them [God’s commands] on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.’ (Deut. 6:7).
This concept was also the subject of a series of ‘Mom on a Mission’ Busy Mom podcasts recently from Heidi St. John, which I would encourage you to listen to- they are only about 15 minutes long each, and I listened on my Kindle while I was making the dinner! The links to the individual podcasts are: Your Mission Should You Choose to Accept It, Are You a Worrier or a Warrior, Be Courageous, You’re a Mom on a Mission, Choosing God’s Perspective, Trusting God’s Heart, and Trusting God in All Seasons.
From home, we can pray for missions work, and our Christian brothers and sisters around the world, as I mentioned in Encouraging Our Children to be Outward Looking, and we can give our children an enthusiasm for sharing the Gospel.
Learning About Missions as a Family
If you are a home educator, some helpful resources are the two free downloadable, year-long unit studies on missions, by Ann Dunagan, the author of The Mission Minded Family, called Teaching With God’s Heart for the World, and also the 40 Day Mission Minded Family Challenge. We have also used the book You Can Change the World as a family.
In terms of reaching out to people in our own local area, you might think that having moved to a Scottish island that our choices have limited the number of people with whom we come into contact. However, people need Jesus wherever they live! In fact the population on our island is actually several thousand higher than that of the mainland town we moved here from, although obviously it is more spread out, and rural.
Sheri Graham has a helpful series of posts on making a difference as a stay at home mother, with a number of ideas for ways that you can reach out to neighbours and your local community.
On the subject of resources, Missional Women has a selection of free resources for subscribers, and Rosaling Jukic, author of the Missional Handbook, also provides free resources on her blog A Little R&R, and her other site Missional Call. (Amazing that I didn’t know what ‘missional’ meant a few months ago, really!)
Supporting Missionaries Financially
Another way in which we can reach out to others who are further afield, is by supporting indigenous missionaries. In KP Yohannan’s book, the author emphasises how the church in the rich west is in the position of being able to ‘share with God’s people who are in need…’ (Romans 12:13). We can ‘go’ in financial terms, particularly to countries which are closed to foreign workers.
Finally, we can use technology in a missional way too. Rosalind from A Little R&R has an encouraging post on using social media to be a witness, and obviously I hope that this blog will in some small way be a blessing to others, and hopefully point them to the grace that God has shown in my life, which He will do for others too, rather than focusing too much on me.
If you are a Christian, in what ways are you a ‘missional’ person? Please leave a comment and let me know anything I have missed!
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