Missional Starts at Home

Yesterday after opening all her Christmas presents my six-year daughter Brenda, paused by the Christmas tree to pray. When she was done I asked what she said. She told me she wished Jesus a Happy Birthday. This beautiful moment actually started a couple of weeks ago. We were hanging out in the living room looking at the Christmas decorations. She asked me, “Daddy, on Christmas Day after breakfast, can I come out here and worship God?”

A couple of months ago, I was eating lunch with someone I used to attend church with. He asked me what I do to “train up my children in the ways of the Lord.” Yes that’s a very churchy way to ask that question but I still got the point.

That was a really hard question for me to answer. I immediately started thinking about specific times where I sit down with my kids and talk about God and how to live like Jesus. There aren’t any. We don’t have a set rhythm where we all sit down and talk about living like Jesus. Yet Brenda, of her own volition, regularly talks to her baby brother about Jesus. She regularly talks about God with me and Jen. She applies biblical teaching to life situations. God is working in Brenda’s life and I can see her responding by the way she acts and talks about God.

We don’t have a “family devotional time” (although every night Jen reads a Bible story to Brenda and I pray with her before she goes to sleep). We simply live out our faith and talk to Brenda about what we’re doing and why we do it. We talk about living like Jesus when we sit at home and when we walk along the road, when we lie down and when we get up (Deut. 6:7).

In my opinion, that’s what the “missional/incarnational” life is all about. It’s about living like Jesus and then when the time is right, explaining why we do what we do. It starts at home. The first people to whom God has sent us is our family. We share the Jesus life with them and then together we share it with our neighbors, our city, and the world.

What about you? What are you doing to be missional at home?