It was Christmas, and the Liberian Christians had been asked this year instead of receiving gifts, to help carry the Gospel to others . . .
Training our children in giving and self-sacrifice is a natural "fit" for the Christmas season. As we put up our family nativity set, or wrap our presents, we can remember how God loved the WORLD so much, that He GAVE His only Son, Jesus. And as mission-minded Christian families, we can take it a step farther . . .
As mission-minded families, we remember the world and the lost, as we thank God for the greatest gift of all times.
God gave His own life for our world; let's give of ourselves . . . for Him and for others! Here's a simple Mission-Minded Christmas story you can read aloud to your children:
A Christmas Story from Liberia, AFRICA
"I Gave Myself"
It was Christmas, and the Liberian Christians had been asked this year instead of receiving gifts, to help carry the Gospel to others.
As in many mission fields, they brought, not money, but produce. Presently, the great plates were piled high with offerings of rice, cocoa, bananas, palm nuts, pineapple, and cassava.
There was a moment's pause . . .
Slowly, a twelve-year-old boy walked forward and solemnly placed his feet in one of the plates. Afterward, when the missionary questioned him, the boy said . . .
"We are very poor. I did not have anything else to give . . . so I gave myself."
A few MISSION-MINDED baby-steps
Here are a few baby-steps to begin to incorporate a mission-mindset into your family's yearly Christmas celebrations.
- Incorporate a GLOBE into your Christmas celebrations. Perhaps use this to bring a mission theme into a corner of your living room or family room. Add some garland and lights, or place a mini-nativity beside this globe (or map), as you encourage your children that Jesus came to earth to be the Savior for ALL people.
- Be THANKFUL you've heard GOD'S GOOD NEWS. If your Christmas decorations are looking a bit old and shabby, and you're wondering about using them another year, remember 1.6 million people around the world have yet to hear the Christmas story . . . for the first time!
- READ a MISSION STORY. Read aloud a Mission-Minded Christmas story such as this story, "I Gave Myself," or "Home for Christmas"
- PLAN a FAMILY MISSION PROJECT. Plan a specific family giving project for Christmas. Perhaps put a coin jar under your tree and begin saving coins for a specific mission need.
As mission-minded families, if we really want God's direction in every areas of our lives, we need to begin by surrendering ALL of our "rights" to God. Perhaps during a time of family Christmas carols, include a chorus of I Surrender All.
All to Jesus, I surrender.
All to Him I freely give.
I will ever love and trust Him.
In His presence daily live.
I surrender all. I surrender all.
All to Thee, My Blessed Savior.
I surrender all.
This Christmas, I invite you to seek God's purposes for your family. Don't just think about giving presents, think about giving YOURSELF!
Have yourself a MISSION-MINDED CHRISTMAS!!!