“I am looking for someone to share in an adventure that I am arranging, and it’s very difficult to find anyone.”
Gandalf to Bilbo Baggins in the Hobbit
A few years ago we plunged ourselves into an adventure. It wasn’t one of our making, but rather, God’s arranging. Admittedly, we were a bit reluctant to go. We were leaving behind the comfort and security of a steady paycheck, stable church, and people we know and love, to start a new church in Ann Arbor, MI.
Along with twelve other families, we were going on an adventure. Husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, kids, students, dogs, a hamster, and a few fish – all of us were stepping into an adventure with a mission!
As we were boxing up books, cleaning out closets, emptying drawers, and packing up vehicles, I came across a list. Scribbled on a piece of paper, were my list of resolutions from several years ago – Dreams about learning a new language, reading the entire Bible, finishing my master’s degree, drinking less coffee, not getting so upset over football, and getting in shape. Some of those I’ve accomplished, and some, well, there is always next year!
That next year my resolutions looked different. As we settled into a new city, our family talked about what it looks like to live on mission for Jesus. How do we do that together? What does God have for us? Who does God want our family to be? What kind of legacy are we, or will we, leave behind? Honestly, it’s all a little overwhelming!
I scribbled a different kind of list as we headed into that new year and a new season of life and ministry. It was a list not just for myself, but also for our family.
While we never keep our resolutions perfectly, they give us something to shoot for. The following are a few simple and practical ideas for creating resolutions of your own that will help your family live on mission this year.
1. Try to learn 15-20 new names of people in your city
2. Pray for each of those people on a regular basis
3. Throw a party for your son or daughter’s team
4. Begin serving in a ministry at your local church
5. If your kids are old enough, get them involved serving and not just attending
6. Read through the book of Acts together
7. Pick four or five men and women of faith outside of the Bible to study together
8. Invite a different neighbor’s family over for dinner, cookout, or campfire
9. If your kids are a bit older, pick a student apologetic book to read together (For example, Lee Strobel’s books, The Case for Christ and the Case for Faith Student Edition are two great resources)
10. Skip a birthday and donate money to a missionary, family in need, or Christian ministry like Compassion International
We don’t have to move, plant a new church, move to another continent, sell everything we own, or say goodbye to loved ones to live on mission. Jesus is arranging adventure all around us. We want to pray as Paul did, to have open doors, clear speech, and obedient lives (Colossians 4:2-6) as we seek to make Jesus known wherever He calls us in 2016! Ready?!