–Originally published on FWB21 February 16, 2013–
The following excerpt from The Ministry of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson really resounded with me this morning:

I believe Jesus will hold each of us responsible for the stewardship of the good news he has given us. If we are to succeed in our calling of raising children with hearts for God, then we must see ourselves responsible for all of those who are like sheep without a shepherd. We must involve our family deeply in meeting needs if our children are ever going to understand that they were created to serve God by serving others.

When Jesus asked the disciples to “follow Me,” he was asking for each man’s entire life–time, allegiance, talents, and will. Surely he requires no less from us or from our children. We read in Ephesians 2:10 that “we are [God’s] workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we should walk in them.” To me, this indicates that God has set aside specific tasks for each of us to do, according to our personalities, skills, and circumstances, to further his kingdom. Is it possible that there are people in our everyday lives whose needs are going unmet because we have neglected to do the loving work the Lord has set aside just for us?

May God open our eyes and our hearts, then, that we may say yes to his call to compassionate service. And as we obey him in reaching out to others, may our children come to see themselves as those who will drop their nets to follow Jesus wherever he leads–and then, at the Spirit’s prompting, let down their nets to become fishers of men.

I have always considered my primary area of ministry to be in the home–to my husband first, then my children. One great way to disciple our children (again, my primary area of ministry) is to involve them when we minister to needs outside our family–providing teachable opportunities along the way.

We often simply include our children when meeting needs as we go about life, but this past summer we had a unique opportunity to serve for two weeks in Chicago with E-TEAM. It was extra work and hassle to have our boys, ages 5 and 1, on the (last-minute) trip, but I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything. Our five-year-old still talks about our time in Chicago and the ways we served together there. It left an impression on his heart.

Next month we have another unique opportunity, and I cannot wait. We will be hosting a team overseas and taking them into a restricted access country. And yes, our boys will be in tow (now 5 and 2). As we prayerfully prepare our hearts and minds for this trip, I am filled with excitement and hopeful expectation of what God will do. Sure, it would be easier to leave our boys at home for a few weeks, but what teachable moments this trip will offer us! As we disciple others, we’ll get to disciple our boys, too.

Whether you are a parent or a teacher, are you actively modeling service and inviting your children to join in? What are you doing to involve children in finding needs and meeting them as you teach them about the love of Christ?