There are many uncomfortable conversations that occur during parenting.  Some we try to forget.  Some we will always remember.  Not too long ago, I was driving my eldest child home from college.  She is twenty-one years old and we have some amazing times together.  During this short trip, she began to share her disappointment that more people in our church have not gone on mission trips. Now, I stopped to consider who was talking.  My daughter had already been on multiple mission trips and clearly has a heart for sharing Jesus with those both near and far. Her father and I have watched her with pride and awe as she has continued to do what God has called her to do.   My first response (in my head), however, was that she was being a bit “judgy.” I myself have never been on a mission trip and I know LOTS of people who haven’t either. We’re not horrible people.  We love Jesus.  I did not say this, however, and figuratively patted myself on the back for not walking into that landmine.  Instead, I commented casually that some people just don’t feel “led” to go on mission trips and that there are other ways to serve God as well.  I’m pretty sure I smiled benignly (and slightly condescendingly) as I said this.  Boy was that a mistake.  My daughter turned to me and practically shouted, “But MOM!  Going on a mission trip is NOT AN OPTION.  The Bible tells EVERYONE to GO INTO ALL NATIONS and make disciples. Going isn’t a choice – it is a COMMAND!”  Wow.  Talk about silence.  I had nothing.  No quick response.  No Godly comeback. Why didn’t I know what to say? And why did she have to bring God’s Word into the conversation?
This week, your kids will be learning about the second part of SHARE – GO.  About the part that, for many, is even harder than SHARE – Bring.  At least when we bring people to church with us, we are in a familiar place with people we know.  It only takes about an hour and then we go back home to our nice house with our yummy food and our favorite tv shows.  But “Go.”  Where?  When?  With whom?  What will I do?  What will I say?  Where will I go to the bathroom and can I take hot showers?  (You know you’ve wondered that.)  Like so many of the other topics we discuss in your kiddos’ classrooms, the idea of going to another place to share Jesus’ love seems so much simpler to children.  As we get older, we tie ourselves more to the things of our own small “world” and our own personhood and we think less and less about the needs of those far away from us.  I know I do.  And if my goal is to be a child of God who simply “gets by” and lives a life sheltered by His unconditional love, then okay.  But if I want to be a child who makes her Heavenly Father smile when He sees her step out of her comfort zone and her time zone to love more of His children, then perhaps THAT is something to aspire to.  To work towards.  To pray for.  And to do.
Melinda Lamera
Sun Grove Children’s Ministry