3 Ways to Give Kids a Heart for Missions


In April this year we posted an article about the impact kids can have on missions today. Below are highlights from that post, focusing on three keys for cultivating a heart for mission work in kids.

When Jesus sent out His disciples to carry His message, He reminded us that the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. So what was His strategy for mobilizing more workers? He told them to pray and ask the Lord of the harvest to send out more workers. Prayer is God’s plan for mobilizing missionaries. If we pray that He will send out more workers, He will.

So imagine what might happen if a generation of children began to pray for the completion of the Bride of Christ among all peoples. I imagine that such a sound ascending to the Father’s ears would raise the roof of heaven and bring such an outpouring of His activity amongst His Church that we could see Him complete the evangelization of the world within one generation.

Did you know that more than 2,000 language groups in the world have no access to the gospel of Christ? These are called “unreached people groups” (UPGs). We can be a part of seeing these peoples reached with the gospel! Below are three practical ways you can engage your children in the Great Commission.

1. Cultivate God’s Heart for Prayer in Kids

Begin with yourself. Model for them a heart of dependence on God and a posture of prayer as a lifestyle. 

There’s something about the purity of a child’s prayer that I believe blesses the heart of God with an unmatched intensity. When a child (or any of us, for that matter) asks God to do something that aligns with His will and actually expects Him to do it simply because He says He will, guess what happens? He does it—every time! That is what He simply calls faith.

2. Teach Kids to Pray for the Lost and for Missionaries

Read missionary newsletters together with them and then pray for that missionary (and the people they are seeking to reach).

Adopt a people group: Coordinate UPGs to be “adopted” for prayer by children or families in your church, school, etc. You can find a map and list of UPGs HERE.

The vision here is simply for them to begin praying for the Lord to raise up laborers who will carry the gospel to these people groups.  Whether those laborers come from a foreign country or from within the borders of the country where the UPGs reside—or both—matters not.  The point here is to engage God’s people in praying for the unreached according to God’s model for mobilization. (Luke 10:2)

3. Check Out the Resources Available to You

Visit www.weavefamily.org for resources connecting everyday families to the global story of God.

Join the Bibleless Peoples Prayer Project: www.wycliffe.org/prayer/bppp

Utilize the short videos below by Global Frontier Missions to gain and share a better perspective on these essential mission topics:

Biblical Basis of Missions / God’s Heart for the Nations

What is a UPG? (explaining unreached people groups)

State of the World / The Task Remaining

God’s Heart for the Foreigner

To help families and youth understand the importance of preparing cross-cultural missionaries for what they will face, watch this short video Missionary Training for Effective Church Planting.

May the Lord ignite our hearts today with a passion for His glory and engage our lives in His global mission. I long to see our daughter, Everly, along with a generation of children and youth, engaged in prayer for unreached people groups! I remember once when I was praying for this to become a reality, it dawned on me—this is not my idea. This is God’s idea! And it has been His plan all along.


For tools to cultivate a heart for missions in your kids, check out our Family Discipleship Curriculum, COMING AUGUST 9! The Family Discipleship Curriculum introduces kids to missionary heroes that inspire the pursuit of Jesus Christ and His work. The curriculum also provides global awareness and perspective, focusing on the needs and cultures of the persecuted church and unreached people groups. Click HERE to learn more about our Family Discipleship Curriculum!

Josh and his wife, Shannah, are mission mobilizers with Ethnos360 (formerly New Tribes Mission), based in Boise, Idaho. They have a daughter, Everly, and an 80-lb “lap dog,” Dakota. They love to travel and share God’s heart to make His name great among all peoples, including the 2,000+ unreached people groups who still have no access to the message of Christ.

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