Cultivating a heart for missions begins when it is fixed on Jesus and He places the desire in your teens. You can grow that interest through the courses you teach such as geography, history, Bible, and foreign language. Learning about regions of the world, their terrain, crops, culture, and religions will provide opportunities to talk about various ministries available and the beneficial skill sets for taking the Good News there.
Teaching history through the lenses of your worldview is another way to increase your teens’ awareness of the multitude of needs that have been met by missionaries, past and present. Discussions can stimulate learning of the ways history impacted the past and what we can and should learn from it for the times we live in now. As a result, our teens’ hearts may grow in compassion for others and be stimulated to support missionaries and/or mission agencies either by giving their money or time.
Of course learning a foreign language provides teens an added ability to serve both abroad and here at home. Your teen may wish to learn the language of a country of particular interest. Pay attention to this desire for the Lord may be directing your teen there for future service.
Because the Bible exhorts us to always be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in us (1 Peter 3:15), it is of utmost importance to teach the Scriptures to your teens. Without this knowledge and understanding, all their efforts will be for naught from eternity’s view.
Beyond the academics, teens can explore missions through short term trips their churches sponsor or through mission agencies who recruit young people for special projects. These opportunities will not only mature your children but change them forever. We have a number of mission agencies listed on our website for you to explore.
If your teens are too young to take advantage of such a trip, you might consider a family mission trip. If that’s not possible, then invite missionaries who come to your area or church for a meal to learn about their country and ministry. My father’s parents were intentional in providing hospitality to missionaries as long as he can remember. As a result, his three sisters and he all served the Lord on the mission field in various capacities. Growing up in a foreign country is a blessing I treasure. Think about passing it along to your children!