Recently, I was reading Everyone A Child Should Know with my family during dinner (our children love this book!). We learned about C. T. Studd (1860-1931), a famous cricket player who left the game after his brother nearly died, causing him to grasp the preciousness of life and the nearness of eternity. “He gave up cricket; he gave up fame; he even gave away all his money – and went to China to tell people about Jesus.”
Then a Map…
After dinner, we walked over to our framed family map (thank you, Zach and Cassidy Cann!). I had the kids help me find England, where C. T. Studd lived. Then I moved with my finger all the way to China and then back to England. Then we traced Studd’s second missionary endeavor from England to Africa. The kids were sufficiently impressed that Studd loved Jesus enough to go such long distances to tell people about him.
As we talked about Studd’s missionary zeal, I asked, “Who else is leaving their home to travel to a far away place to tell people about Jesus?”
Obadiah: “The Canns!”
Me: “Yes, the Canns are missionaries. They went far away to Papua New Guinea to tell people about Jesus. And who else is going to go somewhere far away to tell people about Jesus?”
(The oldest four thought hard…but were mostly distracted.)
Obadiah: “We are!”
And an Epiphany
Suddenly, Chloe gasped. Her mouth was open and her eyes were wide. “Wait, are we missionaries?”
Even though, we’ve used this language before with our children, somehow, a children’s book and a brief conversation in front of a map seemed to connect some new dots for our oldest. The question initiated a sweet, brief conversation about what a missionary is and why church planting and missions are nearly synonymous terms. Without sound churches, missions work doesn’t exist (Ti. 3:12-14). And missions exists for the sake of establishing sound churches where God is worshiped by those being conformed to Christ-likeness (2Cor. 3:18).
So, are we missionaries? Yes! We are missionaries being sent to the city of New Orleans.