discussion

Coffee Chat 10 – Are children supposed to be missionaries?

coffee chat

Read previous coffee chats under the “discussion” category or click here.

It’s almost Fall! The early fall is one of my favorite times of year. The weather is starting to cool, pumpkins are available both to decorate and eat in some form or fashion and the leaves begin to turn color. Who’s up for a pumpkin spice latte while we chat?

I’ve got a question for you and it’s one that is rather old: Are our children supposed to be “missionaries” in their schools?

I often hear Christians say that they don’t homeschool because their children need to be “lights to the world” in their schools.

What do you think?

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22 thoughts on “Coffee Chat 10 – Are children supposed to be missionaries?

  1. To the extent that children reflect their Christian home, then yes as far as their actions are concerned. The term ‘missionary implies active prosylization (sp) of their peers, etcetera. That is an adult enterprise, per biblical examples. I do believe that a child should be encouraged to stand up for what they believe and who they serve, but only if they are prepared enough and mature enough to defend their faith.

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  2. This morning was the first I had ever heard that viewpoint. While I agree with the statement I don’t see how it could be used as a logical argument against home education. If we run with the thought that we must always be in a large setting so we can be missionaries or a light unto the world, then adults shouldn’t work from home because they are missing out on opportunities to share Gods word.

    It just isn’t a logical argument.

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  3. My sister home-schools her daughter but also involves her in a network of other homeschooled children and after-school activities where my niece has the opportunity to be a light to the world around her. I’m not a parent and don’t know all the challenges of homeschooling children but it seems to me that anyone who assumes a child does not have the opportunity may be out of touch with the homeschooling process and/or opportunities.

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    1. Homeschooling is done by a minority of the population so a lot of erroneous assumptions are made. Homeschool depends almost entirely on the parents. It’s up to the parents to get their kids involved with other kids. The advantage is the parents have more frequent opportunities to actively teach the life lessons (as opposed to peers or teachers with opposing world views).

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  4. Interesting question and it really got me thinking. I grew up in a home where Christianity was not well lived, but I had genuinely been saved. Sharing Christ with my peers came sporadically but out of the sincere desire of my heart to share Him. I recall pounding away on the tether ball while preaching my little heart out in grade 3 or so. I was never a popular kid and didn’t look for affirmation or responses when I did share. I just did it. Our daughter is home schooling their children and I find myself concerned for how sheltered the children are. On the other hand, I read a comment from another blogger recently that said “I have seen the village and I don’t want it raising my child”. I think things are very different now than they were 40 years ago, and there is a big part of me that is glad my granddaughters are being sheltered. However, I wonder how they will fair when they are adults. The questions you ask are not easy to answer. I totally agree that much of home education, whether it is good or not, depends in large part on how that homeschooling is done. However, the same can be said for public education too. I have seen many secular school teachers be verbally abusive to the children in their care. There were two women in particular who were like chickens pecking at the bleeding child. It was very painful to watch indeed! I wanted to scoop that child up and place him in the care of someone worthy of his education and molding. Children are so vulnerable growing up and scars are easily made. Whoever influences them and speaks into their lives WILL contribute to their upbringing. It is not easy to monitor all they are taught in school for those precious 40-ish hours a week. On the other hand, I also know that God uses trials to grow us. I don’t think it’s a cut and dried issue, but thanks for asking. 🙂

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    1. Well said!

      It is difficult being a parent and making these choices for children.

      I found a lot of benefit to being in public school, but I also remember feeling like I missed out on a lot of good learning because I had to put up with all the disruptive kids. College was like a breath of fresh air—everyone that was present wanted to be there!

      Homeschooling was a difficult choice for us, but it was a choice we made after a lot of thought, discussion and prayer. We currently have one kid enrolled in public school because she was not performing well in homeschool; there was a lot of personality clash going on and we decided that we would try a different environment to see if she would do better. It’s still in the “wait-and-see” stage, but I think that the experience of seeing “how the other half lives” has helped her immensely. I pray extensively for her and her teacher and I trust that the Lord will watch over her and guide her in that environment. We have kept the other two at home and they are still thriving; it’s an environment that works well for them at the present.

      I think both environments have pros and cons and it’s up to the parent to make the choice as to what works best for their family, finances and especially their children. It’s also up to the parent to make necessary and often inconvenient sacrifices to do what is best for the training of their children.

      My hope this discussion will help people consider their choice and the motivation behind their choices. Motivation dictates action. The why is as important as the how.

      It’s also important to lean on the Lord to provide what is lacking in either situation. I pray that God will provide opportunities to teach my homeschooled kids through some “real-world” challenges/issues. I pray that God will give a base of support to my public-schooled kid so that she will not be scarred, but rather grow through her experience.

      We do what we can, the best that we can and leave in God’s hands what we cannot control.

      Thank you as always for your thoughtful and insightful comment, Debbie. God be with you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you too, Elihu. I totally agree with all you said. I actually had my kids in public school for about 2/3 of their grade school years. I pulled my son out in grade 3 because he was being bullied and becoming far too fearful. We had him home for 2 years where I spent a great deal of time building him up and equipping him. Then I homeschooled our daughter for 3 years in high school because she had numerous health issues, all of which were resolved thankfully by grade 11. By then, it was too much for me. We live in a province where homeschooling is very well accepted and I am grateful for those precious years with my kids. Thanks for all your wonderful blogs. Blessings on you. Debbie. 🙂

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  5. I think what children are supposed to be is Christian. God can empower them to do all sorts for Him. There are children who are gifted in preaching, some in serving, some may even be prophets. There are many examples of how God used children in the Bible, e.g. young David, young Samuel, young Joseph and don’t forget young Jesus in the Temple. We shouldn’t push children to fulfil any particular ministry or hinder them from ministry. We should encourage them to love God with all their heart and soul and nurture the gifts we see that God has given them.

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    1. Excellent point, Ufuoma and great examples! I love this last statement: “We should encourage them to love God with all their heart and soul and nurture the gifts we see that God has given them.” Amen!

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  6. Thought provoking post, Brother. Your coffee chat always are, though. I am a product of public education. Or course I grew up a total non Christian, as I didn’t become a believer until the age of 45. My own children are also products of the public school system, as home schooling was for you rather strange Christians. My children are also, to this day, quite lost and unsaved. There Dad taught them pretty well in that area. I pray for their salvation constantly, and I hope they will see some day what happened to me and come to faith themselves.

    My second set of children are also either products of, or still in the public school system. My stepson has graduated and currently attends Seminary, as he has been called to preach. My step daughter is a wonderful, upright Christian young lady. They both seemed to have survived in that environment, but it has not always been easy. Even after our son was called to preach, we had to help him dealing with all of the pressures to sin a young man faces in the public school system, and sometimes it failed.

    Should kids in schools me missionaries? Not sure about that one necessarily. Some probably should, if that is what they are called to do. Just like in grown up life, we all have a different calling. I think Ufuoma nailed it, though, as they should beyond doubt be….Christian. Even as children they should be taught that their faith is simply who they are, and others should be aware of that, through both their lives and their words.

    We have a small group of kids at our church who are very bold about witnessing and inviting their peers to come visit us. If not for them, our growth would not be near what it is. And THAT growth is just the growth we need to survive as a church into the future.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Children should be encouraged to find their gifts. And to raise a child to want to please the Lord is the best! Sadly, we missed the mark with our daughter. Now we’re praying for our grandsons and hope to draw them to the Lord!

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    1. Yes, children should be taught that.

      Too often we try to force them to have certain gifts instead of shaping their talents.

      Dr Dobson pointed out that strong-willed children, if shaped and loved carefully and consistently can have a strong will to resist temptation.

      Dave Ramsey says that people who are spenders can be great givers; they just have to be taught to be self-controlled. We have to diligently adapt to train them.

      I don’t have it figured out for sure. Gotta spend a lot of time on my knees!

      Thanks for your comment Debbie. 🙂

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