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Missions -- A family affair

Practical guide for family prayer and encouragement


Missions is a family affair. In Acts 2, the Bible records Peter's powerful sermon on the day of Pentecost. As Peter was preaching, the Holy Spirit moved in the hearts of those who were listening. They pleaded with Peter, "What must we do to be saved?" Peter answered them and said, "Repent and be baptized." As the people confessed their sins and became believers under the new covenant, Peter continued to explain that salvation was not only for them. As Peter explained in Acts 2:39, "For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself."

John Barnett

As a parent, I am always seeking to equip and encourage my family to live a life on mission. My wife and I pray and ask the Lord to teach us new ways to be intentional in fulfilling the Great Commission at home and in our community.

One simple way to be intentional in fulfilling the Great Commission is to pray for and encourage the body of Christ. In the book of Acts, the Bible teaches us the importance of encouragement as it relates to the fulfillment of the Great Commission.

In Acts 14:21-22, the Bible says that "after they (Paul and Barnabas) had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying, 'Through many tribulations we enter the kingdom of God.'"

In the midst of this global trial and displacement from the coronavirus, here are some practical ways you and your family can pray and encourage others in the body of Christ:

Gather your family, read Acts 1:8, 2:39 and 14:21-22.

Following the Acts 1:8 paradigm, let Jerusalem represent your local church and community, Judea (Kentucky), Samaria (North America), and ends of the Earth (the world).

1. Jerusalem (Your Church and Community)

• Pray, write a thank you card, short letter or email to your pastor.

• For younger kids, ask them, "Who is our pastor? How can we pray for him?" and have them write out or record their answers. Pray for your pastor and then let him know.

2. Judea (Kentucky)

• Teach your children to pray for a Kentucky missionary.

• We have over 100 Kentucky missionaries who need prayer and Go to the InterSeed website: www.kybaptist.org/interseed, download the monthly prayer calendar and pray for the missionaries across the state.

• Email missions@kybaptist.org to get a missionary's contact

3. Samaria (North America)

• Teach your children to pray for our NAMB (North American Mission Board) missionaries.

• Share with them how our Baptist churches work together to fulfill the Great Commission through the Cooperative Program.

• Pray for these NAMB missionaries and Kentucky Baptist partners.

• Email partnership@kybaptist.org to get a missionary contact.

4. Ends of the Earth (International Missions)

• Teach your children to pray for IMB missionaries.

• Go to https://www.imb.org/people-and-places/, click on one of the nine affinity groups around the world, watch the video and use the prayer guide as a family.

• Pray for these IMB missionaries and Kentucky Baptist partners.

• Email partnership@kybaptist.org to get a missionary contact.

The key is to model for your children that our faith and hope is Christ, and He will never leave us or forsake us in the midst of trial. By taking time to pray for and encourage your pastor, church leaders or a missionary family today, you and your family will be participating in fulfilling the Great Commission. Perhaps the Lord may open a new door for a kingdom partnership!

John Barnett (john.barnett@kybaptist.org) is a Kentucky Baptist Convention mission strategist.

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