Monday, December 8, 2014

40 Ideas for Raising Globally-Minded Kids

Author's note: This post of mine originally appeared on, and is gratefully reprinted in part with permission! Please click here for the first 20 ideas, and here for the entire second post.

My parents have four children, and we reside on four different continents: My sister teaches art in England, one aids refugees on the Thai-Burmese border, one is changing her world in the States as a nurse and a mother—and me, raising our four kids in Uganda.
I love that my family has a vision beyond itself (admittedly, holidays can be a bit of a downer). But how can we instill a global, Great-Commission worldview in our own kids? Will they reject myopic entitlement for God-sized purpose? If you’re eager for mission-minded, compassionate kids, start with these practical solutions. If you missed part I, click here.

21. In conversations, differentiate between “needs” and “wants.”

22. Read missionary biographies together, in series like the Trailblazer Books, Torchlighters, Men and Women of Faith, or Christian Heroes Then & Now.

23. At year end, have a family charity game night, when your kids can win your end-of-year giving amounts to dedicate to a favorite cause.

24. Go on a short-term missions trip, starting locally, then beyond to a foreign country. A cautionary word: Educate yourself on what productive short-term missions looks like. Trips can actually undercut development in impoverished nations, or cripple missionaries themselves. Invaluable books like When Helping Hurts explain how to truly empower hurting communities.

25. Watch movies based on the lives of courageous Christians, such as Faith Like Potatoes or The Hiding Place.

26. Hold a monthly family cultural night: explore new food; learn about a new country; even dress, sit, or eat accordingly.

27. Pray over spending patterns. Since this is God’s money, where and how does He want it to be spent? Is there some “spending fat” that might be allocated to something more eternal?

28. Simplify. Then do it again. Personally, selling about 70 percent of our stuff to move to Africa was exquisitely painful. But I’d repeat it in an instant: It changed us! Commit to purging, eliminating, and generally minimizing the gravitational effects of “stuff” on your family.

29. Model contentment and gratitude. It helps us hold loosely: “the rich… [should not] set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy” (2 Timothy 6:17).

30. Train kids in sacrificial generosity. Check out 1 Chronicles 21:24 and 2 Corinthians 9:6-7, and talk openly about ways you give until it hurts. Help kids to set aside 10 percent of their allowance for giving to a project they’re enthusiastic about.

31. Together, read strength-building stories like Jesus Freaks or Growing Together in Courage.

For the rest of this post, please click here.