Sending our children out as missionaries
by Art Werry
CLINTON TOWNSHIP, MI – Where has the summer gone? For that matter, where has 2022 gone? And here we are, at the beginning of a new school year. As Tricia and I get ready to send Hannah off to her senior year, it's a good time to think about how we should face the coming year.
The last few school years have been difficult to say the least. School shootings. COVID-19. Unbiblical practices and values being taught to our children. Our Christian faith is being tested in ways we have never experienced in our lifetime. Is it any wonder we are seeing a dramatic rise in cases of depression and anxiety?
In previous years, along with our children, we’ve experienced nervousness as the start of school draws closer - but not like this. Now for the good news, as we think about the coming year, let’s be reminded of two important truths.
First, let’s remember God is in control. Yes, if we are not careful, this profound truth will ring in our ears like a hollow cliché. But within those four words lies great comfort and assurance.
We can take comfort in trusting that God is in control of whatever will happen to our children at school and even at home, for that matter. The psalmist reminds us, our great God never sleeps (Psalm 121:3-4). Through all the ups and downs of the coming year, we want to send our children out the door with confidence that God is in control.
We may feel like we are sending our children off into a war zone, but in reality, they are never out of God’s sight or away from His presence - no matter where they are. Make sure your children hear you speaking your faith and not your fears. Look for ways to calm their fears by pointing to our faith in God. Our children need us to help them keep their feet firmly planted on the Rock.
Second, in addition to remembering God is in control, we should remember that we have a job to do. Each year, it seems like the light of the gospel shines less brightly. Instead of pulling back in fear, let’s step into the new school year with a renewed commitment to living out our faith.
What better way than to regularly remind our children that they are going out as missionaries for Jesus? Find fun ways to help them start gospel conversations, maybe with a t-shirt or a notebook with a Christian message on it.
When they come home and tell you about their day, use these teachable moments to help them learn how to weave the gospel into their day. Unfortunately, there will be days that provide the opportunity to teach “turn the other cheek” and “forgive as you have been forgiven.” But school provides perfect real-life examples of how we are to integrate our faith into our everyday lives. Going over the basics with our children is also a good way for us parents to be reminded as well.
This year, when we kick the kids out of the nest to go face the world - let’s do it with confidence and purpose. As the missionary William Carey said, “Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tricia and Art Werry live in Clinton Township with their daughter, Hannah, and their dog Luna. Art has been pastor of New Life, Fraser for over 30 years. Tricia is the Administrative Assistant at Audio Sentry, a security firm in Fraser.