“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations…” Matthew 28:19a
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Before ascending into Heaven, Jesus gave this mandate to His people. As we raise our children in the fear and admonition of the Lord, we are to pass along this mindset to them.
So how do we do this? How do we teach our children to think beyond themselves to the world that God has made and loves?
How to Raise Mission Minded Tweens –
A Two-Step Approach
First, we need to teach our tweens how big God is!
I admit I struggle so much with this. I know how big He is but I forget to teach His vastness to my kids.
Psalm 24:1 says “The Earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein” (ESV).
God is over all and He owns it all! We must teach this to our tweens!
Next, as we teach our tweens the vastness of God, we teach them about the world God created.
- Talk about geography. As you read Bible and other books learn about where the stories take place. Compare ancient geography to modern geography. Find out about the people who live there.
- Read stories about missionaries both current and past. There are so many out there! Discuss what God is doing everywhere, including right around you. Find out about missionaries from your church and learn what God is doing there. It is amazing to see God moving in your backyard, as well as on the other side of the world. Talk about seeing the vastness of God!
- Talk about current events around the world. They can then see some of the different things others are dealing with especially kids their age.
Give them as complete of a view of the world as you can, while you teach them God loves the world.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” John 3:16 (ESV).
The world is also right around us. Because of travel, we now have the nations in our hometowns. What are other nationalities prevalent around you? Learn about their culture.
A tip to try: One really fun way to do this is finding national restaurants in your area. I’m talking the hole in the wall, looks sketchy kind of restaurants, and get to know the people who work there. Learn from them what life was like in their country and why they decided to come here. Have them compare the cultures from their perspective.
Always be a learner.
Another great thing to do is to study a new language. If you have a restaurant near you, try learning their language and ask them to help teach you. If you’re in a more rural area, without many internationals around you, study a foreign language together as a family!
In our home, we dabble in Russian, French, Romanian and Spanish regularly. If we read a story about a place we see if we can find something in their language. Trust me, it’s so much fun!
I really could go on and on about ways to raise mission minded tweens, but now, I would love to hear your ideas.
How do you teach your tweens how big God is, about the world and about God’s love for them?
Let me know in the comments below!
Did you miss the other days of the Tween Parenting Blog Party? Check them out here!
Emmie is a Wife and Mother of 8 littles ages 9 and under! She loves Jesus and sharing her God-given passions. She shares her personal – and past professional – experience as a labor and delivery nurse over on Childbirth Conversations Blog (re-launching in a new online space soon). She is also an Independent Norwex Consultant and blogs about the family’s happenings on The Manor Manor.
With a heart for missions, she is often learning about other languages and cultures which she passes on to her children. When she’s not spending time with people, you can find her writing, reading and learning to appreciate wrestling with who God has created her to be.