“Missionary: someone who leaves their family for a short time, so that others may be with their families for eternity.”

I recently came across this quote and really resonated with this meaning of missionary. You see, my husband was a missionary kid, so the idea of missions has always been a topic we discuss regularly. One recent question we had was “What if one of our children is called away to missions and desires to go?”

If you have been talking about the importance of mission work, it’s highly likely your children have been listening. They may have already started talking about going on one. If you find yourself wondering how to support your child’s desire to go on a mission trip, keep reading! We wrote this post just for you!

Here are 3 easy ways you can support your child’s desire to take their very first mission trip: 

1. Encourage

Encouraging children to attend a mission’s trip may be difficult. A mission’s trip can sometimes be dangerous or the idea of your child being apart from you can feel scary. But remember to offer your support before, throughout, and upon their return home. Help your child prepare before, pack a few letters full of Bible verses like the one below for him to read during your trip and feel encouraged during the difficult times.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” —Joshua 1:19

And be there to listen to your child talk about what her experience was like after she returns!

2. Pray

There honestly isn’t much we can do to replace our worry other than to make time for frequent prayer. Remember, God calls us to spread the Gospel. Pray for those who will be impacted by your child. Pray for your child’s personal spiritual growth, and pray for his safety while he is away! Remember, prayer is a powerful weapon to replace fear. 

Support your child’s desire to go on a medical mission trip by praying with, for, and over them regularly. Helping them tune their ears to God’s voice will always lead them to their calling. Allowing prayer to shape our hearts and soften any resistance we parents may have to our chidren joining a mission team, is essential to helping children grow more independant in their faith.

“I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him.” — 1 Samuel 1:27

3. Let Go

One of the worst things we can do as parents is to try to hang onto our children while they are following the will of God. Their desire to go on mission trips is no exception. Even young children can serve locally on mission teams. Check with your church to see if they have short term opportunities locally. There are also mission organizations that offer family and parent+child trips. A quick Google search will help you locate options for your family!

Remember, God doesn’t always call us to the safe and comfortable places. As parents, we want those two things for our kids but we need to be able to let go of our kids and give them room to be obedient to God. Listen with an open mind when they start discussing mission work and let God provide the means for their calling to unfold!

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.— Jeremiah 29:11

Tell us in the comments about your experience letting your children go on mission’s trips!