23 March, 2008

Missions 101

"So we can confidently say,

"The Lord is my helper;
I will not fear;
what can man do to me?"

Hebrews 13: 6

It is amazing how God can teach us through our children if we are paying attention. But, the lessons can be embarrassing, awkward and humbling.

Several times over the past two years my seven year old daughter has conjured up some unique ideas for Evangelizing her little world. First, she decided to tell some kids on the playground at McDonald's about Jesus, then she created an indecipherable poster in 'kid scrawl' for our front door that proclaimed her favorite verse: Philippians 4:13. It stayed up for about two weeks before I had the nerve to take it down. But since we live in an area that is quite picky about such things, I thought I gave it a good showing without suppressing her zeal for missions.

A few months ago, without my permission, she hit up a few neighbors for money to ‘help the poor'. They gave her a total of five dollars which she promptly put in an envelope and took to church for an GA mission project. One of the donors was a city commissioner who normally upholds the ban on solicitations in our city with razor sharp efficiency.

Recently, she decided to make up fliers to witness to people. Her plan was to hang them from trees in our neighborhood. If that wasn’t bad enough, her fliers included my cell number to call for questions about Jesus!

Fortunately, I was able to persuade her there was a better way so she decided to hand them out personally sans the phone number. She made up quite a few to hand out for a trip to Wal-Mart. On the way in, she told me she was very nervous about handing these out to people. I could only think what a coward her very own mother is about being bold with such mission techniques but encouraged her anyway. I was very ashamed of myself for dreading what may take place and kept thinking of 2 Timothy, "...for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control."

The first stop was a long line to return something. I could see her little face contemplating how she was going to present these fliers to people. After I completed my business at the counter, she handed one to the clerk and told her it was about ‘Jesus rising from the tomb and being alive right now’. I was a bit astonished to see the clerk tear up and tell her that was the best gift she had been given all day. As we were walking away, my daughter said, “Mom, can you believe my flier was the best gift she had all day”?

What my daughter did not know is that I was thanking the Lord for that experience to encourage her to be bolder than her own mother who is really a scardy cat. By the time we left, she had handed out quite a few fliers with only one person who was indifferent. And, even that was good for it gave me an opportunity to talk with her about how we should handle such responses to the Good News. But in the end, she taught me much more about missions than I have ever taught her: We must love people enough to be bold about the Good News of Jesus Christ.

The basic lesson for missions from a 7 year old: Be Bold.

1 John 4

17By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the Day of Judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. 18There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 19 We love because he first loved us.


Kathleen said...

What a wonderful testimony of your daughter to share the Good News of Jesus! Her feet are truly beautiful with the Gospel of our Lord.

I also want to let you know that if you haven't been already, you've been tagged by me.

WatchingHISstory said...

just incredible. unless we become as litle children we shall not enter the kingdom of God. Adults take note of this child!


Corrie said...


This is a great post! Wow! That was so encouraging to read.

AnneK said...

Hi Lin,

Came over here from TW blog. I read some of your former posts. Great blog! Found myself nodding my head quite a bit.

imaresistor said...

What a blessing this post is Lin! What we can learn through the eyes of a child!

Thanks for sharing this with us!


Steve said...

Someone has obviously been teaching this young lady a LOT about Jesus and the Kingdom of God.

Just think, were she to address the Southwestern seminary in Cowtown, they would have to hide or burn THAT pulpit or speaker's stand too! Yet, what honest and forthright things she would say.

Of course, Alabama football fan C.B. Scott would then have to shout her down, saying girls don't get to say that!!

If that was my little girl I'd be proud of her.

Greetings from Hoptown, Ky.

Lin said...

Just think, Steve. No one has told her she should not teach men about Jesus Christ. She does not know that there are those out there that would limit her spiritual gifts. I have never mentioned that to her and I never will unless she asks me directly. I am trying to teach her to Love the Lord with all her heart, study the Word and be guided ONLY by the Holy Spirit.

Isn't that how it should be for all of us?

Steve said...

We wouldn't tell her about limited spiritual gifts because we have no political points to score or good buddies to try to find a job for or any skins of wild animals to have mounted....

Which makes one wonder - with Paige's predilection to have the skins of dead trophies put on display, should Dorothy be concerned?

Meloff said...

As I chuckled through Steve's comments, the thought hit me, "Wait. It's just that women can't teach men. Not children.

Hee Hee

Seriously, what a great post. So many times I've also been humbled by my children's boldness. Truly "out of the mouths of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength," and "perfected praise."

God bless you and your daughter!

BTW, yesterday one of my kids was doing a math problem (from a Christian math publisher) and the problem went like this:

One fifth of Nathan's allowance is budgeted for gifts, one tenth for his church and one half for savings. What part of his allowance is left for Nathan to spend on himself?

I had to laugh. I know you've written before about this kind of thinking (the "legality" of tithe put aside) - especially about things like "quiet times."

Doesn't it just look so odd to put into print the amount that is given to the church? As if He really doesn't demand 100% of all that we have?

Thanks for being bold in your writings, Lin.