The Impact Parents have on Mission Minded Choices
By Jacquelyn Davis
Psalms 127:4 says, “Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth.” I remember hearing this verse growing up. I didn’t fully understand it until I was older, but I knew that it was an important verse to my parents and, today, I am glad that it was. One thing my parents well understood was that they were raising children to be sent into the world and live for Christ, not necessarily to stay nearby. Parents have an incredible impact on the lives of their children. I personally was greatly impacted by my parents. As they raised me, several things they did encouraged me towards missions. Here are three things my parents did to help prepare me for ministry.
1. They actively served
My parents made church and serving within the body of Christ a priority. Whether it was helping in the church service, teaching a class, or leading a weekly Bible study, my parents actively lived out their faith in service. My siblings and I saw this example. It was a culture that was created in our home. We understood that our parents prioritized their faith through their actions.
2. They invited me to serve with them
My parents not only actively served in a variety of ways but they invited us kids to serve with them. As we grew older, and had our own relationships with Christ, my parents invited us to run a kid’s program as they discipled young parents for a weekly Bible study. We served in AWANA together and served at Jr. Camp. But one of the best memories I have was the 4th of July. The Davises were known for having a large celebration on Independence Day. We would go out about a week before to “the Land” (acreage out in the country) and mow, prep and have fun. The day of the event, when the whole church would come out, my dad gathered us around and told us something I will never forget. He said we had our fun. It was awesome! But now, we had a great opportunity to serve. And serve we did. Our focus changed to how we could serve those coming to the event. By inviting us to serve with them, it showed us how to serve and made it something exciting. We could serve God just like they did.
3. They sent me to serve alone
Although being examples of service and inviting us to serve with them impacted me greatly, there is something that they did that I believe was a HUGE key to me going into full-time ministry. They sent me to serve alone. In high school they let me start serving in the church in the nursery or Sunday School. Next they let me go on a short-term mission trip to another state with the youth group and my senior year, they sent me miles away to a camp in TN to be a counselor for the whole summer. I know that sending your kid off by themselves can be very difficult for parents. However, it was vital in helping me understand several things. First, it helped me be ok with leaving home. My family was, and is, super important to me and it would have been easy for my parents to influence me into thinking that staying near family is utmost important. Instead, my parents helped me understand that God is of utmost importance, and often He calls us to go, and that may include leaving your family. Second, it helped me learn to depend on God. Although my parents are great godly counsel for me to this day, there were times when I was alone on the field and had to go straight to God first. This taught me the importance of depending upon God and not on my parents.
I am so thankful for how intentional my parents were to teach me about serving God. They helped shape my view of ministry and missions. It is because of this that I began making mission minded choices. From serving in my local church, to short term missions, to full-time ministry, my parents’ choices impacted the choices I would make in the future.
Jacquelyn Davis serves as Intern Coordinator for the National office. To learn more about the ministry of CBM or about their internship program click HERE.