Sunday, May 08, 2016

[Matt's Messages] "Mission Minded Moms"

“Mission Minded Moms”
Matthew 28:18-20
May 8, 2016

We’re going take a break for one week from our study of the Books of Kings to stay on the theme of motherhood since it’s Mother’s Day.

But we are staying on the theme of the year.

Some of you will remember that on the first Sunday of 2016, we focused on this particular passage of Scripture together and reminded ourselves that we have been given, as a Church, one great mission, one great Commission, our marching orders to make disciples of Jesus Christ to the glory of God.

We are sent on a mission.

The teens going to their Challenge Conference this Summer are going to be taught on this theme all week long.

We are SENT on a mission.

And that mission that Jesus has sent us on determines and shapes every area of our lives.

Including our callings in life. The things that God calls us to do.

And that brings us back to motherhood.

Those of you who are both mothers and Christians need to connect the dots between the two.

Your calling as a mother is shaped by the mission that Jesus has given to His church.

Have you ever thought about that?

Have you ever seen your calling as a mother as a part of Jesus’ mission for the church?

Today’s sermon is entitled, “Mission Minded Moms.”

And I don’t mean first off foreign missions, though we’re going to get there.

I mean that moms who are doing what God wants them to be doing as moms will fulfill their callings as moms by keeping in mind the mission that the Lord has given to us.

So, of course, this is a message for all of us whether we are moms or not. Because the mission is for all of us. But I’m especially thinking today about those of you who someone calls, “Mommy” and how this mission applies to your very very very very very important job.

Whether you are a new mom whose baby was just dedicated today or you have been a mom for 50 or 60 years, this mission is for you.

Let’s read it and then we’ll pray and start applying it to everyday life for the moms among us.

In Matthew 28, the recently resurrected Jesus is talking to his 11 remaining apostles on a mountain in Galilee. V.18

“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’”

Moms, you have a mission.

Christian moms, you have a mission, and you should choose to accept it.

Moms, do you remember how you felt that moment when you first found out that you were expecting?

The pregnancy test came back positive.

Gulp!  “What have I gotten myself into?” Right?

Do did you feel?

Excited, right?

And also probably a little apprehensive.

And maybe a little uneasy about the new responsibility that you were just entrusted with.

What a responsibility it is to have a child!

To feed, to clean, to provide for, to teach everything they need to know to get started in life. To superintend their education. To oversee their health and well-being.

It’s such a weighty responsibility.

And for the first several years it’s so demanding.

There’s always responsibilities, but eventually they grow up. At least you hope so.

But when they are little...

There’s a reason we have a ministry called “Mothers of Preschoolers” and not “Mothers of College Students” (though that’s not a bad idea!).

Because those early years are tough. And it’s 24/7.

My hat is off to young mothers.

It’s a lot of work.

Well-done, ladies. And keep up the good work.

But I want to add to that pile of responsibility this morning.

Because Christian motherhood is more than just feeding, cleaning, medicating, educating, and preparing children for life.

Christian moms have a mission to make disciples of their children and the rest of the nations for Jesus Christ.

Christians moms are meant to be mission minded.

Now, I’m sorry if that feels like an added burden to you who already have so much to do in your work.

But the good news is that this focuses your efforts. Its focuses your work.

Because if you are a mission minded mom as you are called to be, keeping that mission always before you will help you to make critical choices as you do your mothering.

Did you ever notice that children don’t come with instruction manuals?

If you buy a weed-wacker, it comes with an instruction manual.

Here’s how to start it, run it, use it, keep it running. Do this, don’t do that. And so on.
Kids, not so much. Right?

Moms often don’t know what to do.

So, they need to pray for wisdom. But they also can and need to evaluate the parenting choices in front of them based on whether or not and how it will help to achieve the mission.

Some things are mission-critical and they must be done. They must happen.

Other things can aid the mission but are optional.

Some others things can hinder the mission.

Christian moms need to be mission-minded.

And what is our mission? To make disciples of Jesus Christ to the glory of God.

V.19 “[G]o and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”

Those are our marching orders as the people of God, and mothers have a critical role to play.

Now, I’m not saying that only mothers do this or that mothers do all of it.

For example, I don’t think that mothers do the baptizing of their children. The church does the baptizing, normally through the pastors and elders.

But it should be every Christian mother’s aim to see their children grow to be believers in Jesus Christ, disciples of Jesus Christ, and baptized into the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

And it should be the aim of every Christian mother to see their children turn around and also be used to make disciples of others in the same way.

Mission minded moms.

Do you get a sense of what I’m talking about?

I’ve got just three quick points to make today.

Here’s number one:


“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”

Let’s not forget that.

Jesus has come back from the dead and has claimed to possess by divine gift ALL authority in heaven and on earth.

That’s everything. That’s ALL authority.

Jesus is Lord.

And that’s helpful to remember when you’re a mom.

Jesus is Lord.

He’s Lord over your motherhood.

He decides when you become a mom, not you.

You’ve got a part to play, but Jesus rules.

And Jesus decides what motherhood should look like.

We don’t get to pick and choose from an unlimited list of mothering ideas.

There are biblical concepts that Christian mothers should employ when parenting.

Jesus is Lord.

And He’s also Lord over your child’s future.

He’s sovereign over where they live, when they live, and when they die.

He gets to rule their lives. Not you or me.

So Jesus is Lord and we are not.

Moms, have you tried to pretend you’re the Lord?

Maybe taken some prerogative or privilege that is His alone?

Jesus has risen dead and because He lives, we can face tomorrow.

But because He lives, we also need to live for Him.

And sometimes that means releasing our children into the world in ways we’d rather not.

Our world is a dangerous place. But children are arrows.

Psalm 127 says that children are arrows, and arrows are meant to be loosed at the proper time.

Jesus is Lord. So when He calls for your child–maybe to go into missionary service and make disciples of some Hindus or Buddhists or Muslims in some dangerous part of the world, it will be time for you to pull back the string and let them fly.

Because we have a mission, and Jesus is Lord.

I believe that we like to play it safe with our kids.

And we do need to protect them when they are small and teach them to make prudent choices when they are grown.

But we don’t keep them to ourselves. We ready and aim them to fire into the world.

Because we have a mission and Jesus is Lord.

Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore....” what? V.19

“Go and make disciples of all nations.”

I’ve been reading an excellent new book by Gloria Furman on this topic called Missional Motherhood.

And she opens Part 2 of her book with this title, “Therefore, Go, and Mother Disciples.”

That’s great.

Or in other words, Christian mothering is discipling.

If you are a Christian mom, it should be your aim to make disciples of your children and the rest of the nations.

Because Jesus is Lord. That’s what He’s called us to do.

All of that authority and what does He want?  Make disciples.


And who better to start with than those little creatures that live in your home?

Kids don’t come out of birth as Christians, did you know that?

But Christian moms have the goal of reaching them for Christ and seeing them fully discipled as Christians from before birth. If they have their mind on their mission.

Now, that’s going to look different at different times and with different kids.

Here’s the mission-minded mom at our place on the day of Robin’s dedication, 16 years ago.

Back then discipling Robin was mainly just praying for her.

And setting your mind and heart on Christ yourself.

Being a disciple yourself.

Here’s a picture of them a month later. Heather’s reading something, probably her Bible. Stocking up her heart with what she will teach Robin as Robin gets old enough to begin to understand.

But it’s not long until she’s got armfuls like this.

Mother’s Day 2005. Just 5 years later.

And being a mission minded mom meant something very different then.

Than it does today.

And how it will look in 20 years or 40 years from now.

But the mission stays the same.

Mission minded moms focus on making disciples.

What are you doing to disciple your kids?

Now, does this mean indoctrinating them? Forcing them to become Christians?

No. It’s impossible to force someone to become a Christian.

Becoming a Christian is the work of the Holy Spirit.

You can’t make it happen.

These apostles in verse 19 were not commanded to go out and force people to convert to Christianity.

They were to preach it, teaching it, model it, explain it, defend it, pray it into people’s lives.

They were to be, in a word, missionaries.

And as missionaries reach the people they are sent to with the gospel of Jesus Christ so that it transformed them by its power and make disciples of them.

So, moms, you are missionaries. But you aren’t necessarily sent around the world. You are sent to your kids.

Take the gospel to them.

And don’t stop sharing the gospel with them until either they die or you die.

Again, it looks different at different ages and with different kids.

If you are the mother of a prodigal son or daughter and they are out of your home and far from God, you are not going to get out a Bible storybook and make them sit on your knees and have devotions with them each night.

It don’t work that way.

But you are still called as a missionary in their life to love them for Jesus’ sake and seek to share the good news with them when they open to hearing it.

Keep your mind on the mission.

Focus on making disciples.

And of course, not just of your own kids.

As mothers, especially of young kids, they are your first priority as a mission field.

But your kids will have friends, too.  Guess what? They’re mission-field, too.

And those kids will have parents that you will come into contact with.

Mission field!

Potential disciples!

And verse 19 says, “all nations.” So that’s not just people like us right here.

It’s not just whitebread Americans. It’s people all over the world who need Jesus.

Moms, we’ve got to keep our focus on making disciples of all nations.

And that might involve aiming your kids at the nations.

It might involve aiming your whole family at the nations.

We look at John and Becky and think, “I could never do that. Uproot my whole family and move to Oaxaca.”

Never say never. Remember that Jesus is Lord, and He gives the marching orders.
What can you do to raise the awareness of the mission in your household?

Mom, does everybody in your household know the mission?

Do they know that your whole family has a mission?

Could they answer the question, “The mission of our family is...” what?

Mission minded moms keep the mission in front of their families.

Of course, this is a Christian dad’s responsibility even more because he’s called to lead. But this isn’t Father’s day.

Mission minded moms keep the mission in front of their families.

They are praying for missions.
They are praying for disciplemaking opportunities.
They are strategizing as a family how they can make disciples.

Mission minded moms focus on making disciples.

And that involves a lot of teaching. V.20

This making disciples involves not only baptizing new converts but, “teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”

Moms, you are a teachers.

When you were given a child, you were given a calling to be a teacher.

That doesn’t mean that you will teach them algebra, but it does mean that you will teach them Jesus’ commands.

“Everything I have commanded you.”

Moms, have you been teaching your kids what Jesus commands?

When was the last time you said, “Jesus says we need to...” whatever?

“King Jesus commands us to...” what?

“Our Lord says....” what?

Do your kids know what Jesus commands and that He expects obedience?

V.20 says “teaching to obey” not just “teaching to know.”

Jesus is Lord and expects us to follow His directions.

And one of your jobs, Mom, is to teach Jesus’ directions to your little disciples.

So much more could be said about that.

It’s the main way that Moms disciple their children is to teach them.

Don’t assume that someone else is going to do that for you.
Don’t assume that Sunday School or Kids for Christ or Children’s Church will do tha for you.
Don’t assume that Youth Group or Miracle Mountain Ranch will do that for you.
Don’t assume that a Christian college will do that for you.

Partner with all of those ministries to help.

But you are the Mom. You are called to teach your children the gospel and what Jesus wants from them and for them.

What do we say around here?

The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.

And the main thing in mothering is the gospel.

Mission minded moms keep the focus on making disciples of Jesus Christ.

One last point and then we’re done.


“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

I love that Jesus doesn’t just send us on a mission, He goes with us on that mission.

And that’s true for all of you moms, as well.

You are not alone.

Jesus is on this mission with you.

I know that it feels heavy at times.

I think I’ve added to that heaviness today by emphasizing how weighty is the responsibility of being a Christian mom.

But you don’t have to do it on your own. You couldn’t if you tried.

Jesus goes with you.

He’s not talking to just one Mom named Shirley.

“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

That words means certainly. You can bank on it.

It’s for sure. To the uttermost.

He will see you to the end.

Now, that means you gotta go.

You gotta get out there and complete your mission.

But you don’t have to do it alone.

Abby, you don’t have to do it alone.
Emigh, you don’t have to do it alone.
Stephanie, you don’t have to do it alone.

Church, you don’t have to do it alone.

You just have to do it.

‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to [Jesus.] Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything [He has] have commanded you. And surely [Jesus is] with you always, to the very end of the age.’”