I’m very excited to share this guest post with you. Lisa from a 2nd Generation of Homeschooling is the mother of 10 children. She has seamlessly woven family ministry into the regular ‘routine’ of homeschooling. Their family is an amazing example of extending the love of Jesus to their community (and beyond) by showing love, compassion and truth both spiritually and practically to those choosing the fate of their unborn child.
May their walk inspire you! ~Lisa from Homeschool Circus
The Balancing Act: Homeschooling and Ministry
As both a second generation homeschooler and second generation pro-life missionary, I have seen and experienced what can come from a Scripturally-based, mission-minded upbringing. Just as my parents before us, we have incorporated family ministry into our life of home education. Our entire family of twelve ministers, at least once weekly, at one of Charlotte’s three local abortion centers.
Through this ministry we have been able to witness nearly 300 babies and mothers saved from the terrors of abortion just this year (9 months). Many times we are able to minister to these men and women, on a short-term and long-term basis. So in essence, we go about this particular ministry, making disciples by reaching souls and saving lives outside of abortion clinics. [additional information can be found in the Pro-Life and Family Ministry categories on my blog]
We have been blessed to see our children growing spiritually by leaps and bounds. They have learned and are continuing to learn to effectively share the Gospel, defend their faith in God and their beliefs on pro-life issues and clearly discern between good and evil. They have seen women and men surrender their lives to Jesus and have participated in connecting these people with local resources and ministries. This family ministry truly is real-life mission work!
So, maybe by now you are saying, “Well, this is wonderful, but how can I have my family active in ministry while also homeschooling my children? This just isn’t the season in life for ministry.” Actually this is the PERFECT season. Regular Gospel-focused ministry should be a part of a solid Christian home education. It is not as difficult as one might think to combine family ministry and homeschooling, if your priorities are in order.
The How and Whys
Christian parents are to be teaching their children how and why we are not of this world; how and why we are to spiritually combat that which is of this world; and how and why to put feet on those beliefs!
Most Christian homeschoolers use Deuteronomy 6:6-9 as a reason for choosing to homeschool. In order to live out that Scripture harmoniously with other sections in the Bible, children need to be salt and light with their families. While ministering to the world as a family unit, the parents are able to teach and train while also protecting their children from losing their “saltiness” (Matthew 5:13-16 ).
Real-life, Gospel-centered mission work, under parental guidance, brings spiritual maturity not found within church pews. As Christian parents, we have no choice but to obey God by equipping our children with the practicalities of living out the faith!
If we are faithful to make family ministry a part of our homeschool curriculum, we will observe our children living out the Great Commission under our guidance and direction, while explaining to them HOWs and WHYs of what we believe. This period of training allows our arrows to be launched effectively, which really should be our end goal in this season of homeschooling!
So, how can family ministry and home education be lived out?
While each family chooses to uniquely orchestrate their own homeschool routines and schedules, we have chosen to homeschool year-round with a break from Thanksgiving until after New Years and random breaks sprinkled throughout the rest of the year. This schedule has allowed us to complete our academic and extracurricular homeschooling in four days each week, with the 5th day being dedicated to community outreach, which is done through our family’s ministry at abortion centers.
“You, my brothers, were called to be
free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature;
rather, serve one another in love.” Galatians 5:13
Just as the above verse says, we have the freedom through homeschooling to do much. We could waste our time on selfish desires OR we could spend one day a week serving others in love. We have chosen to donate at least one day a week for the Lord’s work….to serve others as He served others on earth!
If you think that your children are too young to participate in community outreach by living out the Great Commission, remember what 1 Timothy 4:12 says:“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” Our children have the SAME Holy Spirit we have. Because of us allowing them to practically apply the Scriptural truths we have been and are teaching them, they are setting an example to other BELIEVERS through their roles in our family ministry.
Equipping Children through Evangelism and Worldview Training
Christian children should be learning how to articulate why they believe what they believe. Without this simple, but firm foundation, all can be so easily lost in the cares and snares of this world. They must be being equipped to combat the flaming arrows talked about in Ephesians 6:16: “…taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”
The definition of equip is to “supply with the necessary items for a particular purpose”. Our purpose in homeschooling should be to send forth our children from our homeschools as flaming arrows on behalf of the Heavenly Kingdom. In order to do that we must train and equip them throughout our years of home education. “Equipping” through spiritual knowledge and practical application cannot solely be packed into the teen years, when we feel as though they are ready to combat evil. We must be training and equipping them to “speak with their enemies at the gates,” as in Psalm 127:5 now, rather than later.
“Always be prepared [equipped]to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” 1 Peter 3:1
When you train up disciples you need to equip them with the tools they need to share and defend their faith! We train them “as they go”, teaching them through the many opportunities that present themselves in real life and through the ministry. We help to prepare our children through doctrinal overview (discussing why we believe what we believe) and through evangelism training. I highly recommend evangelism training through Ray Comfort’s ministry, Living Waters and Ken Ham’s ministry, Answers In Genesis for apologetics. It is also vital that nightly family worship is incorporated so we can study the Scriptures and hide the Word in our hearts!
The Big Question
So now you must ask yourself: Just how important is it that I actively train, equip and prepare my children to be launched as effective tools in God’s Kingdom through family ministry? If your answer determines that regular family ministry is a priority in your homeschool, as it should be, then now is the time to take action!