The world of a child is very small in some ways. Even if your family travels a lot, chances are your children are focused on what happens within the few feet around them throughout the day. A few older kids and teens may have a vague awareness of current events in the news, but I would imagine very few have any concept of what the world is like for Christians in every country around the world.
In order for your kids to become passionate about spreading the gospel, they need to understand on a practical basis how important the task is to many people around the world. They need to grasp the enormity of how many people still need to hear about Jesus. They need to comprehend what Christians in many countries must endure in order to worship God or share their faith. They must begin to realize because the harvest is plenty and the workers are few, they personally have a responsibility to do their part.
I was interested when offered the opportunity to review An Insider’s Guide to Praying for the World by Brian Stiller. The book covers about forty countries as well as several specific ministries and people. Personally, I wish they had omitted the chapters focusing on specific people and their ministries. Partially because I believe there is always a danger in holding up any person as a model, particularly of Christianity.
Second, the chapter on the Pope for instance just distracts from what I assume was the primary purpose of the book – the people in the countries mentioned. I understand the author’s thought process, but he walked a fine line that I am not sure should be walked in this particular book. I also am not sure he was more concerned with being politically correct than in really laying it on the line what Christians should be praying for in situations like this…leaders turn to the Bible and only the Bible for their understanding of what God wants from us – not the sayings or writings of any person – and obey what it calls them to do.
The other chapters I felt have quite a bit of value. The media in the U.S give us very little information on other countries in the world. This book does a good job of helping the reader understand some of the recent events in these countries – especially those that touched Christians. Personally, I have found the more I understand about what a country and its people have experienced, the more invested I am in their future.
The author also does a good job explaining some of the efforts of various Christian groups in the country, any persecutions people may face for their faith and statistical break downs of the population by major religions. I believe it gives readers a good overview of what Christians in each of those countries need to be able to spread the Gospel and worship God in peace.
I think this is a great book to use with your kids. Share the information on the various countries. Pull out maps and find the country. Try some recipes or learn a few words of the language. Find out if your congregation sponsors missionaries in that country and find out how you can support their efforts. Dream godly dreams of family mission trips or finding ways to support mission efforts in the various countries. And of course, do what the book asks – pray for the people of that country – that they learn about God and choose to worship and obey Him.
The more you make your children aware of the incredible need the world has for Christ and for someone to come tell them about him, the more likely they will help with the harvest of mission work. With the world the way it is today, the old parental worries of “I may never see my children if they go on the mission field” are basically gone. So place any of those fears aside, and have some fun raising a missionary – the Church needs your family to help spread the Gospel around the world.
This book was given to me for free in exchange for my honest review. An affiliate link is included for your convenience.