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IMB Commission Stories: Mom Finds Missional Purpose With Children

International Missions Board | Commission Stories

This is one of my favorite articles on living life On Mission for Christ. Amy and her family are a fantastic example of this! We can {and should} live our life On Mission for Christ where we are on a daily basis. You absolutely do not have to be a Missionary to share the Gospel of Christ!

Special thanks to the International Mission Board and to Amy King for letting us repost this article. I hope that it inspires others to live their life On Mission through an intentional, out-of-the-box lifestyle.

“Mom Finds Missional Purpose with Children” by Amy M. King

Reposted with persmission from the International Mission Board

It was a call-and-response, Sunday school answer that would earn praise there. Be applauded at home. Chuckled at in a church service.

“Why are we here?” I said, whispering.

“To tell people about Jesus!” my three-year-old son Hudson trumpeted.

Lifting my eyes to the surrounding crowd, I remembered we were not standing in church pews but contorted in airplane aisles. The “here” I was referring to wasn’t metaphorical. It was China. After 24 hours of flying, my family of four was about to disembark in a country known to shut down public evangelism.

“Good job, Huddy!” I said in that high-pitched Mommy whisper that must come with the title. “But let’s not say that again until after we meet the customs agents!”

China was a three-week trip that began with my professor-husband Steven teaching in Beijing for a week. Some people wondered why we loaded up Hudson and our one-year-old Rusher and traveled there, even for reasons like encouraging believers and sharing Hope. I wondered that too when I forgot Pull-Ups on the packed return flight.

The answer: to make this “living out the gospel” real to my kids.


Family Missions Trip | International Missions Board Living the gospel out was difficult to do myself just a few years before. As a writer for the International Mission Board for two years in Thailand, being missions-minded was my calling, my to-do for each day, my career. When we felt led to return to America, taking on the mantle of church member and then the moniker of mother made me feel lost as to how to reach my neighbor for Jesus.

The first two summer, short-term trips we took as a family helped. They were intentional, carved-out opportunities for my boys to pray over temple worshippers, tell children that Jesus loves them and hug on the grandma making them dumplings. Yet, they were mountain-top experiences that left me wondering how to carry that out in our everyday, North Carolina life.

Then I realized: If finding missional purpose between feedings and laundry loads seems daunting to me, do other Jesus-loving, servant-hearted mothers feel the same way? How can my daily life be with Kingdom purpose? How can I be a mom on mission with my kids when errands seem overwhelming?

After asking the Lord for direction, I knew to make missions more than just a discussion for me and my boys, I needed to:

Get organized
Be in community with other believing moms
Keep my plan simple (to avoid discouragement!)
I decided I could handle one missions-related “playdate” a month. I even gave my prayerfully anticipated group a title: Moms on Mission!


Intentionally Living Life on Mission | International Mission BoardFor our first foray, I sent out a playdate invitation to other moms at church and in my neighborhood, posted an announcement on Facebook, and prayed for God to provide laborers and fruit for our sowing.

Our first event was just two other moms with four children between us, chalking Bible verses on the sidewalks at our local university in both English and Chinese. I made the brave decision to let my boys bring their blow-up swords with us — Swords of the Spirit, if you will, to drive the lesson home!

Some months we had a good showing. Others we braved on with just a few. For full confession, did I remember to get everyone together each month? No! The month I couldn’t pull it together, I wrote the group with other ideas for family-based missions activities and tried to give myself grace (ha!).

From my school year-long experience with these simple playdates, here are some ideas for inspiration, either with just your family or by playdating with others:

Serve food, stock shelves, or greet people at a food pantry or soup kitchen.
Call the local fire department and book a tour (a toddler favorite!). Create sweet or savory snacks, cards, or drawings for firefighters and deliver them on tour day, thanking the men and women for their service.
Sing at a nursing home or senior center, particularly around Christmas! Have the kids bring homemade Christmas cards for residents, along with an instrument to “play along” with the singing (anything from a tambourine to a coffee can drum!).
Volunteer at a local hospital or with a special needs ministry.
Make a typical playdate intentional! Meet at a local park and purposely engage other moms, inviting them to other outings or a Bible study. Pray for the moms and kids you met before you leave, involving your kids in the prayer.
Play water games and invite your neighbors to join in the fun. Spend a few minutes talking about the lack of clean water around the world and how Jesus is the “living water.”


I once read a CNN article about how to avoid your kids accepting a “fake” Christianity. The author, John Blake, wrote something I’m not sure is true, but has remained with me: “Parents who perform one act of radical faith in front of their children convey more than a multitude of sermons and mission trips.”

I don’t question mission trips as a radical act to do with your kids. We just returned from another trip to Thailand. Rusher, now three, commented, “We’re not in Thailand anymore, Mom.”

No, we’re not. God has called us here full-time. And sometimes it’s as radical for me to be transparently imperfect but Gospel-intentional with the mom I plop down next to at the park as I would with the man beside me on a bus in China.

My hope is that my kids are learning to love radically regardless of a difference in nationality, language, or age. I see them living out Jesus’ love by offering a smile, sharing snacks or building from the same box of Legos.

Oh, Lord, for all of the mini-sermons I speak and live out in front of my kids each day, let my life be radical enough that they see You for themselves. 

Amy and her kids On Mission | International Mission Board |Commission Stories

Amy M. King lives in North Carolina with her family. She and her husband, Steven, are always on the look out for practical and natural ways to teach their children about missions.




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