I often hear (and believe) “my home is my mission field” and wonder if that’s enough or just an excuse not to do more. Maybe the home shouldn’t be the only mission field we work, but it IS a vital one. It’s where we learn service and model it for our children. It’s where we practice and grow our servant’s heart. It’s where we raise up others to become servant leaders.
This past week, my children both surprised my by going out of their way to show love to others. Even more exceptional was they were both having struggles with friends and not feeling particularly loved. Yet, they felt compelled to serve. My youngest insisting we stop at the store on the way to preschool to buy flowers for his teachers. My 1st grader making a birthday present for her gym teacher and writing notes of encouragement to friends of mine at church. They were practicing how to serve and love others, within the safety of the home mission field.
The home is our training ground for mission and outreach.
Service begins in the home as a foundation for growing servant leaders and developing hearts for serving others. It’s not about choosing to serve within your own home or somewhere else, but rather serving in the home is our starting point.
In the home is where Jesus began his ministry of healing, modeling for the disciples how important it is to love and serve those within our own families. Early in his ministry, Jesus was staying at the home of Simon Peter and teaching the newly-called disciples there. One day, when they returned home from the temple, they discovered Simon’s mother-in-law had fallen ill.
As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew. Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they immediately told Jesus about her. So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them. ~Mark 1:29-31
Jesus wasn’t only focused on reaching the far-flung masses, but also on serving those closest to him. It wasn’t an either-or proposition for him, but a yes-and. YES, the home is a mission field where we are called to love and serve those around us, helping others in our circle of family and friends to know Jesus – AND then expand our circles to reach further and further.
Home is… where we practice serving others.
The safest place to practice anything is usually within your own home, with the gentle guidance of parents or other family. Service is no exception. We need to practice serving others, showing compassion, and talking about our faith.
Maybe you discuss a lesson from church as a family over a meal or practice praying throughout the day as you see someone in need. You might drop notes of encouragement in each others’ lunch boxes or practice random acts of kindness as a family. Perhaps invite a friend or relative to attend church with you or share why faith is important to you.
What are some ways you practice service, compassion and sharing faith with family, friends, and neighbors? How are you helping your children practice?
Home is… where we model faith and a servant’s heart to others in our family, particularly our children.
We learn best by example and children are particularly sensitive to learn by their parents’ examples. The best way to share and teach how to live out faith is by showing it in how you live your life. Serve together as a family, care for each other with love and compassion, discuss how the teachings of Jesus instruct how we should live and interact with each other, make faith a priority in your household.
How do you model faith to others within your home – to your children, to your significant other, to your parents and siblings, to your friends and neighbors? Do your actions match your words?
Home is… our “home base” from which to grow our ministry.
Cultivating service in the home builds a strong “home base” from which to launch additional outreach and missions to a broader community. A home grounded in faith and centered on service provides a foundation for broader impact in the world.
“Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” ~ Joshua 24:15
Choose for yourself this day whom your household will serve. Will you choose to serve God and practice that within your own home? How will you put your faith in action within your home mission field?
It’s easy to forget that home is the training ground for missions. Thank you for this reminder.
Mary Geisen says
Perfect reminder Kathryn! Jennie Allen in her book “Restless” challenges us to find our purpose but also stresses that it doesn’t mean that you are a missionary in another country. Many times your work is in your own neighborhood and we are needed there too. I believe that being a mom was my mission field for many years because of the teaching, modeling and loving you do for your own children. Now with grown kids, I am exploring what my new mission field will be. It’s a beautiful thing. Blessings on a beautiful week friend!
The mission field is everyone, not just abroad. This post is the first in a small series looking at different places we serve and how our service in all areas is vital to growing God’s kingdom. I love that we can begin growing and molding the next generation of servant leaders right here in our own homes – and love seeing how God’s using the little bit I do and turning it into big lessons for my kids.
Kelly Balarie says
Ok, you are hitting me with an arrow. I need to be more intentional about this. I need to speak service and show my kids how we are doing this Kathryn. Sometimes, I lose the intentionality, which is so bad, I know. I praise God that there is tomorrow. I worry so much about raising self-indulgent kids. We gotta get “our service on.” Loving your encouragement that enters into my home today. Cheering you on from the #RaRalinkup on Purposeful Faith.
Trust me, it hit me with an arrow, too. Definitely an area I where need to be more focused and intentional. Love that my children are learning some beautiful lessons, despite my parenting shortcomings 🙂
So rewarding when our children give us those glimpses that they are absorbing those values we are teaching! Great lesson for all of us:) Glad to be your neighbor today at #rara linkup!
Karen Brown says
Thank you for this reminder that home is where these things need to be practiced and most seen by our families. I love how your children are learning from you. And this is something that we all need to remember: “It’s not about choosing to serve within your own home or somewhere else, but rather serving in the home is our starting point.” Amen! Thanks for sharing. Great post.
Thanks! It is nice to see tiny glimpses that lessons are sticking.
Karen Del Tatto says
I was spurred on by your post.
As a new first-time “Mimi” and with my daughter and son-in-law living with us with my precious granddaughter, and of course, my husband, at this season in my life, home is my mission field.
But lately, I have been growing weary of “serving everybody” and feeling resentful. This certainly is not a Christ-like attitude. Your post has encouraged me to stay the course and remembering that I must “do everything as if serving the Lord.”
Thanks for sharing!
I, too, have felt frustrated that I can’t go and do more, with young children at home. It’s comforting to remember there’s a great mission here in their lives – and someday maybe I’ll be doing more with them. Each season brings its own challenges and opportunities. Sounds like you have some great opportunities to serve and support your family in this season.