BOOK REVIEW – Raising Kids with a Heart for Mission

This short and simple book by Daniel Akin is easy-to-read and full of inspiration. It begins by reminding us that Jesus’ final words to his disciples were the Great Commission – words intended to impact them and us today. Akin also reminds us of the honour and responsibility parents have as they raise children for God’s glory. While it is easy to feel that the world exerts greater influence, he underlines that our children do follow in our footsteps. ‘What you love, they will love. What you value, they will value.’

Principles for family life

Akin then dives into ten principles to stir our children’s interest in mission and strengthen faith to obey the Great Commission.

The first few points cover basic principles. His advice to love your spouse well and spend time with your children initially seemed a little unnecessary. I would assume that someone choosing to read this book is already intentional in their family life and seeking to do this.

Yet in remembering how we cannot ‘do mission’ without integrity of character and personal knowledge of God’s grace, this made sense. These are the ways in which children see God’s love and this foundation establishes Akin’s point that good theology and missiology are ‘more caught than taught.’

‘we cannot ‘do mission’ without integrity of character and personal knowledge of God’s grace’

‘it’s a great initial challenge to our thinking and priorities’

Shaping expectations

This book is a great starting place to assess your family culture. Akin is clear that this is not meant to be a guilt trip. His aim is to ‘liberate’ the reader to see the power of God and respond to Him as a ‘Great Commission Christian wherever God places you.’

Some aspects will require further thought and discussion with your spouse, family and perhaps church family but it’s a great initial challenge to our thinking and priorities. Instead of asking the typical, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ Could we become people who instinctively ask, ‘Oh, I wonder what exciting plans God has prepared for your life? When you grow up, will you do whatever God wants you to do?’

This review first appeared in our AWMLINK magazine. If you would like to read more great content, why not sign up here?  If you’d like to purchase a copy, go to our 10ofThose partnership page.

For more book reviews, see our mission resources page. 

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