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4 A P R I L 2 0 1 6 | I s s u e 1 6
ts too expensive. Were just too busy. I just dont feel God calling me right now. We dont travel well. These are excuses that Ive made many times over the years as to why our family didnt need to go on a mission trip together. However, this past Spring Break we bit the bullet and decided to go to Victoria, British Columbia, for our second mission trip as a family with FBC. And once again, every day, I kept saying to myself,
This is a good thing.Ive said many times from the pulpit, The reason so many fail to experience God is that
they fail to obey Him. Im just as guilty of that as anybody else. Its amazing that when I do obey, I see so much of Him. So I thought Id share with you some things God taught me about why every family should take a mission trip with their church.
Our chi ldren need to see that the world is bigger than Starkvi l le. Truth is, the worlds a big place. We forget that in our normal routines. For our kids, life can be all about the next test or the next ballgame. Thats such a small part of life. Also, we tend to think that our problems are the biggest in the world and that life has just been unfair to us. Going on a mission trip helps you to see that thats just not true. Also, you can also see that God has created a world that is so majestic. We have lots of beauty here in Starkville, but theres so much more out there.
Our chi ldren need to see a bigger picture of the church. We began our week by worshipping with Canvas Church, the church that we were help-ing with the camp. It was great for our kids to meet the members there and to see how, though we are different, we are united by Christ. In addition, some of their members
FIRST WORDFROM CHIP STEVENS
helped us with the camp. It presented a great picture of the kingdom of Christ joining together to glorify the Lord.
It s an opportunity to watch your chi ldren grow. If youve ever been on a mission trip, you know that almost nothing stretches you more. From long flights to long days, it can be exhausting. On top of that, you have to have a good attitude every day remembering that you are there to repre-sent Christ. Putting our children in those situations helps them to grow in their faith as they see God grant us perfect strength.
It puts them in posit ions of leadership. We forget that one is never too young to serve. My oldest son helped lead a group of 3rd - 4th graders and helped lead the group stretching sessions. My daughter worked with preschoolers. It was awe-some to see them serving in leadership roles. It also stretched them and taught them many lessons that are valuable for all of life.
It helps you appreciate what you have. Lets face it. Were spoiled. Victoria is one of the most beautiful and most affluent cities in all the world, but theres so much they dont have---family stability, com-munity, and most importantly, Jesus. In addition, Canvas Church meets in a hotel meeting room. They rent the rooms they use for over $6000/month. They have to set up their equipment and take it down each week. Often, if the hotel has another event, they get bumped and have to find somewhere else to meet. It really is nice to have a facility that we can meet in every week, a brand new state-of-the-art childrens building, and the Warehouse where we can host large events. Some-times, we take that for granted.
10 REASONS TO TAKE YOUR FAMILY ON A MISSION TRIP
F B C S TA R K V I L L E . C O M 5
It s great family t ime. Life is busy for all of us. Especially as your children get older, you begin to go your separate ways during the week. Conversa-tions are hard to come by. On a mission trip as a family, you are all serving the Lord together. You are serving together, playing together, and eating together.
It helps bui ld relat ionships with other famil ies. We knew all the families that went to Victoria with us, but spending a week together helped deepen those relationships. Its one thing to pass people in the hallways on Sundays and Wednesdays, but another thing to spend whole days together serving on the same team. Its definitely a church builder!
University students. I cant tell you how grateful that Sandra and I are that, at FBC Starkville, our children can spend quality time with university students who arent wasting their university years making decisions that they will regret for the rest of their lives. A lot of people have the philosophy that students will play during their college years and will grow up and get things right later on. Where is that found in the Bible? It doesnt have to be that way! No child is perfect, but we want our children to see examples of students who are serving Christ during their college years. Tak-ing your family on a mission trip with the church will put your kids in a position to see these examples.
Memories. If you ask our children about their favorite trip weve taken as a family, they would all tell you the mission trip to Victoria. Yes, it was fun to hike trails, to see the mountains across the Pacific Ocean, and to eat halibut in the harbor, but the greatest memories are the times we spent serving together and the children that we served. Well be talking about that for many family holidays to come.
It s an opportunity to join God in what Hes doing. This is the best of all. This being our second trip as a family, we were able to see how God has worked since we were last there. We saw with our own eyes the little boy who came to camp two years ago who is now a believer in Jesus, and his mom has since become a believer as well. We have seen the church grow. We have seen the camp grow from around 50 kids to over 100 and how the camp was sold out and had a waiting list. We just got word that three families whose kids attended camp attended Canvas Church for the first time this past Sunday. God is at work there, and we can know Hes used us in a small way. Thats awe-some for all of us, but Im really glad to know my children see that at an early age.
The bottom line is every Christian should go on a mission trip with their family. If we want our children to be fully committed followers of Christ who are leading others to follow Him, we need to give them opportunities to see how to do that. A mission trip as a family is just the thing that will help you do that.
Drop the excuses, go, and see how God shapes your family!
FBC STARKVILLE BLOGTo read more artciels from Chip and other staff members in the future, check out the FBC Starkville Blog at fbcstarkville.com/resources/fbc-blog/.
6 A P R I L 2 0 1 6 | I s s u e 1 6
F B C S TA R K V I L L E . C O M 7
B Y J AY R E E D
hen the time came to send our son off to Cowbell Camp, the lines to register were crazy. Hordes of anxious freshmen and even more anxious parents packed the lounge side of the new Fresh Foods building on campus. I considered wait-
ing with the rest of the family in the dining side, where a full deep breath could be taken without bumping into someone. But this was a big deal for Jacob (and us), so I decided to brave the crowds and stand with him. When we finally reached the table, it turned out to be a good thing; he was not yet 18 and I had to sign some forms on his behalf. Partial freedom was his. Fast forward to February. Groundhog Day took on a new significance it was the day I took my daughter to the Highway Patrol Station to apply for her learners permit. Could all this really be happening? Wasnt I in the FBC youth group just a few years ago myself? Nevertheless, my kids have grown up quickly and thankfully we have a church that care about the fam-ily, and us as parents, and are intentionally discipling our children. Because of FBC Starkvilles desire to see the family live out its gospel mission the entire month of April is family month. What does that mean exactly? It means a lot of things, but it doesnt mean the more children you have, the greater the discount you get on your tithe. It definitely doesnt mean that.
Maybe this will help: Senior Pastor Chip Stevens began the year speak-ing on the subject of Who Are We? as the church. As a part of this series, the month of April has been dedicated to teachings