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Involving kids in mission work is vital to helping them understand the mission of the church. We try to get kids plugged into missions as soon as they hit Kindergarten and enter our kids ministry by serving as families in a yearly missions experience we call Operation Serve. We want them to understand that the church was formed to serve the world, to spread the message of Jesus, and to join God in bringing healing where there is hurt. I have been taking my family on our high school mission trip to New Orleans for the past three years and I have watched that week shape the hearts of my little girls. Yes, I know taking kids on mission trips is risky. Yes, kids can see some crazy things. Yes, our work in New Orleans is hard. When we serve as a family we get to shape their perspective of what it means to serve others and the necessary risk it takes to obey the call of God. If you are a pastor and you have kids then here are a few reasons you should take them with you on your next mission trip…well this also goes for any of you who are parents…

  • Kids need to see other adults and teens serve // I have been so blessed to have so many amazing teens and adult leaders model what serving looks like to my kids on mission trips. My kids have found their ministry heroes by watching other adults, teens, and college students on mission trips. Kids need to see other people who get it besides mom and dad.
  • Kids need to understand what other people in our world go through // My kids have seen other children who don’t have shoes. They have met other little girls who don’t have any new clothes. My girls at 5 and 8 have seen poverty. When you take your kids on mission trips you get to help them process how God calls us to be part of the solution to poverty and injustice.
  • Kids need to see parents serve and sacrifice // You are the greatest influence in your kids life and they need to see you serve and take risks. I am convinced that when our kids see us serve they have a better shot and embracing mission work for the rest of their life.
  • Kids want to do ministry with you // Your kids want to be a part of your adventure. They see you serve week in and week out in the church so why not take them along when you go outside your normal routine to experience ministry in an entirely new setting. Some of our families greatest memories have come out of serving others during the summer in New Orleans. Those are memories of significance because they are connected to Jesus!