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Parenting, risk, and the big picture

If our job of passing our faith on to our kids is job #1 as parents, how is it that we wait so long to show them the reality of it? The substance of our faith is only proved when it is tested. Is it any wonder that most Christian young people lose their faith after leaving home?  Consider…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

If our job of passing our faith on to our kids is job #1 as
parents, how is it that we wait so long to show them the reality of it? The substance of our faith is only proved
when it is tested. Is it any wonder that
most Christian young people lose their faith after leaving home?  Consider this: almost
every day, our society teaches our children to grasp and clutch and satisfy
their needs. Society is discipling them
to be selfish.

As a parent this summer, don’t be more concerned with your kids’
safety and education than entrusting them with what Jesus called
“true riches.”  Don’t miss the opportunity to show your children the reality of their faith in
ministry. Hey, if you can’t think of a place
to minister, email me and we’ll set you up in New Orleans this summer. Or help out a local soup kitchen. They need to learn to
minister.

Managing risk on
mission projects

We are living in a risk-adverse society. Our efforts to
minimize the risk in our lives are most obviously reflected in our legal system.
For several decades, we’ve all seen a proliferation of law suits filed by
plaintiffs who complain that they should not be held responsible for a risk
they took. We are also the most-insured nation in the world. Consider the array
of insurance options which most Americans feel are basic: health, life,
disability, liability, automobile, home, and mortgage insurance. All attempt to
minimize the risk inherent in living.

Some of the best things in life involve great risk. Getting to know someone
at a deep level requires being vulnerable with that person. A whitewater
rafting experience is thrilling because it’s risky. Crossing a busy
intersection to get to a destination involves the small risk of being run over.

The risks involved in a short-term mission experience are many:

  • The risk of a possible mishap
    while traveling
  • The risk of being rejected
    while sharing your faith
  • The risk of being vulnerable
    with your team
  • The risk of contracting an
    illness or having an accident
  • The risk of being unprepared
    to deal with culture shock

Against these risks, we must weigh the risk of not engaging in a
short-term mission experience:

  • Students will grow up with a
    narrow, self-centered world view.
  • No one will share Christ with
    the lost.
  • Students will inherit a
    lukewarm Christianity.
  • Materialism will never be
    challenged.
  • Students will live their
    lives as takers, not givers.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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