“Dads Leading the Family in Missions.”
When it comes to leadership it has been stated that it is better to be “caught than taught!” The father in the home serves many roles; breadwinner, protector, role model and of equally importance is that of leader. Teaching children how to live and lead in their world is not the responsibility of educators from outside the home. Those responsibilities rest squarely on the shoulders of the parents. The father ultimately has the greatest impact on the children in leading them to form character and beliefs. With this in mind, dads should consider their actions so that they can look back with pride on their leadership and its effects in the lives of their children.
When it comes to missions, a father should be very intentional to expose his children to the responsibilities of a disciple of Christ: to reach others in our world with the gospel. In our fellowship we are fortunate that the Assemblies of God finds its foundation in both the gospel and the proclamation of that gospel to every lost man. This missions heart finds itself in our Christian education with lessons of why and how we reach the lost. It is also found in our children’s ministries with BGMC and youth ministries with Speed the Light. Encouraging children to participate in “buddy barrel” by making faith promises will build the child’s faith, so that God can use even a child to impact his world. What an impression for each child to have the opportunity to become a modern day lad watching his fish and bread transformed into miracles.
The same is true with teenagers and their faith promise commitment in Speed the Light’s ministry. Very few things can change a teenagers mind when he or she determines to make a difference with their missions giving. Supercharge this experience with an AIM trip to ride in a Speed the Light vehicle on the mission field and the teenager will become a lifetime mission’s giver, if not a missionary!
In the Assemblies of God, men participate in the ministry of”Light for the Lost”. This program provides literature and electronic communication, which is Gospel concentrated and placed in the hands of missionaries to reach the lost. Dads, who participate, teach their children the value of STL and BGMC giving.
Fathers should lead the way in faith promise giving when their churches have missions conventions. While it is good and scriptural to be private about what one commits in the public faith promise meeting. That process should not just be an emotional moment when the faith promise cards are passed out. It would be good for the family to discuss what each family member is planning to contribute the next year to missions. Make sure that each family member is a part of the sacrifice of the missions giving program of their church. Also, one of the parts of the faith promise experience is to allow the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart about a faith promise. This aspect should be explained so that children understand the difference between budgeting for missions giving and faith in missions giving which is beyond one’s ability to do except for the Lord’s doing something unexpected and miraculous in the family’s income. When a child sees and experiences the family making commitments based on the Holy Spirit’s leading and then sees miracles in finance they will never be the same.
It is a privilege to receive awards which express appreciation for one’s missions giving. Maybe the greatest joy is not the receiving of an award or even the joy of giving the gift. For even the scriptures teach, “it is more blessed to give than to receive.” I think the greatest joy in this life is to experience your children receive recognition for something you influenced them to love and participate in, by your leadership as their dad! Proverbs 22: 6 says, “Train a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Sir, you may be developing the next greatest missionary of our culture; lead them well!