We were probably the shortest players there; our little no-name school had not been to the playoffs in years. We had some great players, but we had not gotten to this point solely based on our abilities. What really made our team strong was our unity, because our coach had built team spirit both on and off the court. After hours of building our team, there was nothing like the sense of camaraderie and excitement that carried us to the playoffs. We were a part of something BIG!
As a child of God, and more specifically as a missionary wife, I am a part of something much BIGGER and more EXCITING than the state playoffs or anything else in the world. The day I married my husband I became a part of his team headed to West Africa. It was so exciting! It felt like the two of us against the world!
One by one God blessed us with four new teammates. Just like my high school team had to work together for our playoff success, each member of our family, from the oldest down to the youngest, works together to serve God here in Burkina Faso. The exciting part about God’s team is that NO one has to be a benchwarmer! (To be honest, that’s mostly what I did on our basketball team.)
As a wife and mom, I have a vital role in helping build our team. In the words of my husband, “The children will only be as active and supportive as the mom is.” It is a given that the man will do the preaching and teaching, but I have a choice. I can do as little or as much in the “ministry” as I want to. There are times that my duties may keep me closer to home than him, but I can still be a prayerful and supportive wife. My attitude is key.
In addition, I have learned a few other keys to helping our children find their place on the team:
Rely on God’s grace! He is the only one who can work in their hearts.
- See each child as a valuable part of the team, not a hindrance.
- It’s not children OR ministry. Do both. Include them.
- When we can’t be with Dad, remind them that he has the most important job in the world and we get to do our part at home to help him.
- Share your children. Let people hold them and love on them. Don’t be a germaphobe.
- When problems arise, be careful how you talk about others in front of your children.
- Teach that ministry equals service not fame and fortune. Lead by example with a willing heart.
- Teach them ministry isn’t just a “job,” but a loving response to the One who gave His all.
- Let them start serving with simple tasks: handing out water, passing out tracts, wiping off church
- Help them see that everything they do can be used to build God’s team. They can influence the children they play with, the neighbors they bake goodies for, the mamas of the babies they love to hold, etc.
- Always build them up. Thank them for helping, tell them how important they are to the team, and remind them that God is using them to accomplish things even their parents can’t.
No matter where you are serving today, I hope you all realize what an adventure it is for your family to serve God together as a team. Even though times may get tough, serving the Lord is the best life on earth. Never forget that and never let your family forget it.