234 | How to Be a Family On Mission (Seth Barnes)

234 | How to Be a Family On Mission (Seth Barnes)

234 - Seth Barnes

“People are looking for purpose, but because their own needs seem so stark and so great, they don’t get to it. It’s a paradox that by focusing on other people’s needs, you are going to find that your own needs will be met — So, sometimes as parents it is important (wherever we are at) to say, ‘Hey, let’s go find a place to serve'”

Key Takeaways

  • Pray with your kids and teach them to pray
  • Serve with your kids
  • Make time to play with your kids – gives you a chance to build trust for later things
  • Take mom out on a regular date
  • Date your kids once a week
  • Give mom a break and take the kids out
  • Listen to the hearts of your children

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Seth Barnes

Seth Barnes is founder and president of Adventures in Missions, a discipleship and missions ministry that has taken over 125,000 people on mission projects around the world since 1989. The mission of Adventures is to deeply connect people to Jesus and his movement. Their goal is to train 100,000 disciple makers focused on fulfilling the Great Commission. Adventures has ministry training centers around the world that are focused on making that goal a reality.

To move toward the fulfillment of the vision, Seth also founded the World Race in 2005. The World Race provides trained teams of young adults the opportunity to engage in 11 international mission contexts in 11 months using an experiential, missional discipleship model. Adventures emphasizes listening prayer, relationships, and servanthood in their work amongst the poor. Both through ministry/training centers and World Race ministry teams, Adventures maintains an active presence in a number of African countries. In addition to overseeing Adventures in Missions, Seth is a speaker, author, and prolific blogger. Seth is married to Karen. They have five children and seven grandchildren.

Conversation Notes (Full Transcript of the Conversation Here)

  • 4:51 – “But I just felt this sense of urgency to do something, whatever it is that I needed to do in terms of impact, in terms of discipleship, in terms of imparting the kingdom of God to my kids… I felt the leading to study the book of Acts and then try and do it.”
  • 05:49 – “I just felt God saying, why don’t you go and do this somewhere specific? And we prayed about it, ended up hearing Peru go to Peru and see if the Holy Spirit doesn’t still heal people, see if he doesn’t actually use you to plant churches… 22 total… guys and gals and we planted five churches. We saw so many healings, people that were dying of cancer, radically healed…. but just so fun to see my kids seeing that the Bible is true and it still applies now.”
  • 8:44 – “I do think that we have to do business with our our older selves and say, how can I end my life without regrets? Maybe one of the biggest regrets, I think a lot of dads would have to not invest that kind of quality time where your kids can really see your heart.”
  • 10:06 – “I remember when we moved… my wife saying, our kids need to serve more, they’re becoming narcissistic. Maybe there’s a little entitlement creeping in. So she would just take them to the local church and they would clean the toilets…. because we believe that service is important… Acts 1:8 where you begin in Jerusalem and then you go to what’s neighboring in Judea and maybe something that’s foreign some area and then to the ends of the earth… Begin just in your backyard and find ways to serve… there’s so many needy people… just find a few that need a visit, need a human touch and start there.”
  • 11:58 – “I would begin with identity to really help right size that and that’s where I think a family on mission… where your purpose is greater than just entertainment. And if you’re on mission, you’re taking the perspective off of yourself and your own needs and putting it on somebody else. And there’s a strange thing that happens when you do that… you become less preoccupied with your own inadequacy and identity begins to kind of fit together better…”
  • 12:37 – “But also we’re so, self-focused that sometimes we never get out of that space and into a place of service of others… that’s the first thing. The second thing would be community. And we think of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and the need of belonging… we need to belong to others and we need to connect with others… helping young people to connect on mission, I think is a beautiful way to help address that need and ultimately to go on mission and to find purpose beyond just again, meeting your own felt needs, important, but ultimately, you’re not going to raise world changers if you’re just looking at a belly button all the time.”
  • 14:13 – “Sometimes as parents, if we begin wherever we’re at… let’s go find a small way to serve. When we were in Guatemala, there’s a lot of trash around. So I would take the little five year old grandsons that I’ve got, and we go pick up trash for an hour… I just wanted to help them to see the needs that the community had.”
  • 16:21 – “If I’m experiencing something that’s life giving, I want to invite others to it… I’m just a beggar that’s found a little bread that wants to let other beggars know where that bread is. And for me, I’ve found that young people and my own grandkids and my kids before them needed the opportunity to give out of their abundance.”
  • 19:40 – “Wasn’t until I was 31 years old and I’m at a marriage retreat when I actually hear the Lord say that he loves me and… when you hear the Lord speak in a way that it’s so obvious, you know, and for that, that changed everything for me… I wanted my kids to have that same experience, to have that same possibility of connection. And what I found is we just need to create space. We just need to sit with them in the morning. And when I say create space, I’m talking about being quiet and asking a question and not answering the question, but letting Him in the silence show up.”
  • 25:07 – “You go back and ask them about it and… to see the persistence of their faith now in their thirties… and to see them imparting it to their kids lets you know that this was worth it, that it’s something that can last.”

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