In the past two weeks, I’ve shared research that shows that serving together as a family and being given significant responsibility in ministry are two key factors in helping our kids stay connected with Christ and the church.

I have not only seen families serving together through my ministry, I’ve also experienced it with my wife a children.

Family Mission Trip

Three members of our family went to a Costa Rican orphanage on mission trip. Prior to making this decision, my wife, my nine-year-old daughter and I sat on our bathroom floor to discuss and prayed about this opportunity for our family to serve. Honestly, I was feeling a little anxious about the whole situation. However, as soon as we finished praying, my daughter said, “Okay then, let’s do this thing!” We agreed and joined a team of people heading to Central America.

In the process of preparing, we discussed what abilities we had within ourselves to offer. My nine-year-old daughter was forced to look at her life, her abilities, her likes, and any skills that would be available for God to use to serve others. Our whole team brought what God had planted inside their personal “tool-box”. My daughter saw this process. My daughter saw my wife using her unique and form-fit ability of organization and preparation.

We worked through anxieties of malaria pills and typhoid shots, together. We worked through anxieties (that even I had) of, “Will these kids even want to play with me?” We prayed together. We boarded a plane together. We stepped into an orphanage, with hurting kids, in another country, together. We saw God move in touch hearts through the feeble offerings of our giftedness, together.

Serving in Giftedness

One of the most moving parts for me as a dad was serving in my own area of giftedness, apart from my family, and yet looking across the orphanage compound to see my nine-year-old daughter serving in her own area of giftedness without any prompting or encouragement from me. She was serving selflessly.

We were hot, sweaty, tired…together. We were blessed, moved, and forever changed…together. We had a common experience…an experience that is incommunicable to someone who was not on this trip - even if I had 10 million words at my disposal. We experienced was something miraculous – a taste of partnering with God. Together.

Together with God

When the trip was over and we had spent our last day with the orphans, Hannah said, “Dad, we did this. Together with God, we did this.” Amen.

May serving with our families not be so uncommon.

Read Part 1
Read Part 2