God has blessed my family with people who share their lives on mission with us. We celebrate together, cry together, experience God together and play games together among other things. One of my favorite things for our family to do during the summer is go to Six Flags. We will invite people from our small group to join us. It is fun to watch my kids get excited to have our friends join us and want to ride with them and have fun with them throughout the day. Last year, Kristy joined us and was riding rides with my daughter Josie. On one of the rides, Josie, who is normally very bold when it comes to rides, was a little scared. Kristy was there to help encourage Josie and told her, "Yeah, I'm a little scared too, but we're gonna do this! We're gonna punch fear in the face!" This made Josie laugh and helped to encourage her to ride the ride.
The amazing thing for me as a parent is that I know I don't have to raise my kids alone. My kids respect and are known by the people in my small group. I know when my sons and daughter are teenagers there are going to be other adults who will be able to speak into their lives even if they do not want to listen to mom and dad.
God is knitting together our small group to be more than a church group or more than a bible study. He is forming us together as part of His family. People in relationship with God and each other. As we are adopted by God we become brothers and sisters. I see this happening before my eyes.
Being formed as a family on mission is God's calling for us. We can see this throughout the narrative in scripture. Mike and Sally Breen in their book Family on Mission say it this way, "This is rooted in the two key themes of the Scriptures: covenant and kingdom. Covenant means that God has called us into a relationship with himself that leads us to become one with him. Covenant is two becoming one. That's the family part. Kingdom means that our Father who has called us into relationship with himself also happens to have the most important job you can think of--he's the king of the universe. And as the king he's not just looking for a relationship - he's also looking for representatives. That's the mission part - the same people who are in covenantal relationship with him also adopt his mission and learn to represent his kingship to the world."
The great thing about the relationships in my small group is they are mutual. It isn't the adults just teaching other adults or adults teaching kids, but it is also how my kids are challenging and encouraging the adults. Here is a story about how this two-way relationship has worked with my daughter.
Fast forward to this spring. We spent a Sunday afternoon hiking with a number of people with our small group. During the hike we were on a ledge and Kristy was helping Josie climb down. Josie said "I'm afraid of heights." Then without missing a beat Josie added, "we're punching fear in the face!"
Wow! Here is discipleship at work. We see a relationship being formed. That mentoring is occurring and now the student is instructing the teacher. What an encouragement as a parent to know that my kids have godly men and women in their life that they respect and have fun with to speak truth in their lives when they need it.
Do you have relationships in your life that you are living a life on mission?
Are there other godly relationships speaking into your life? Your kids lives?
How is your church helping to build relationships to be on mission? Share your stories with us below.