Welcome to the second part of my series on becoming a missional family. If you missed part 1: What is a Missional Family?, take a minute and check it out right now! I’ll wait.
Okay, now that you know what you’re getting into, let’s dive into the first part of the BREAD model for missional Christian living: Bless.
In my last post I promised that I would give you super simple and actionable tips about how to become a family on mission for Jesus that work for real families with busy and messy lives. Keep reading!
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. You can read my full (and fairly uninteresting) disclosure here.)
Oh, and I also promised you a video–so here’s the one my husband and I made:
A missional family blesses others.
So, the B in our BREAD model stands for Bless. It’s pretty straightforward:
A missional family tries to be a blessing to the people around them.
What does it mean to bless someone?
For my little family, being a blessing to others means pouring into people in any number of ways. Basically, we want to add something positive to someone else’s life–whether it be a gift, a pleasant surprise, help with a project, financial support, or even an unexpected note of appreciation or encouragement.
Who should my missional family bless?
Honestly, this was an issue that I struggled with a little bit in the beginning. I mean, of course we were already blessing people from time to time, but thinking about being an intentionally missional family, we realized that we needed to do more blessing outside of our little family/friend/acquaintance bubble. Admittedly, my husband is MUCH better at this than I am. First of all, he’s an extravert and second of all, he’s a pastor, so he naturally runs into situations where he has the opportunity to be a blessing to others on the regular.
Cut to me, at home all the time with my kids and very little human interaction outside of my family (even more than usual because…COVID). Also, have I mentioned that I’m definitely an introvert? I’m not exactly shy, but I’m definitely not outgoing, either. And I have never outgrown feeling like a gangly teenager with headgear. How can I be a blessing to people when I don’t even see people?
For me, it’s been useful to have a simple “rule” in place.
The 3 Blessing Rule
Here’s the rule (it’s really more of a guideline):
A missional family blesses 3 people/families per week–2 people/families within the church community, and 1 person/family outside of the church community.
Obviously you can decide who you want to bless and of course you can set a different number goal. But three is a good place for my family for now, and because our family is SO involved in church (my husband and I have both always been employed by our denomination, our town is overflowing with members of our church, and even most of the neighbors on our street are fellow believers) 2 church members and a nonmember is a realistic, but still challenging balance for us.
We didn’t make this number up: it was a recommendation in The Five Habits of Highly Missional People, by Michael Frost (available as a free pdf here). This book talks mostly about missional communities (which is a slightly different concept than a missional family) but has some great ideas that can, of course, apply to families.
The book is also available on Amazon:
How can my missional family bless others?
A missional family can bless the people around them in any number of ways. Your family will be the greatest blessing when you find ways to help and encourage others that fit your gifts, talents, and personality.
I can’t tell you exactly what you should do, but here’s a list of ideas to inspire you:
The possibilities are endless, and you don’t have to spend a lot of money or even invest a huge amount of time to be a blessing to someone. That being said, we’ve found that we’ve never regretted anything we’ve done intentionally to bless someone else, and invariably our family has been blessed by each person/family to whom we have tried to show Christ’s love. Proverbs 11:25 says, “Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered,” and we’ve found it to be 100% true in our own lives.
We’ve never regretted anything we’ve done intentionally to bless someone else.
Of course, if you’re going around trying to be a blessing in order to get one back, you’re missing the point. The real blessing comes from truly and unselfishly desiring to help or support someone without any expectations at all in return. Many of the people we have tried to bless have given us something in return, but there are quite a few we never heard from–and that’s okay! Our goal is to be the hands and feet of Jesus in our community, and we don’t need to worry about what happens next. That’s the Holy Spirit’s job!
Prayer is essential for the missional family.
Honestly the best method we have for choosing who to bless or how we should try to be a blessing is to ask God for help.
My husband and son were walking one day, and decided to stop by a neighbor’s house (they’d never spoken before) to congratulate them on becoming parents and to see if they could pray for/with these neighbors. E and his dad prayed before they knocked on the door.
Long story short, the neighbors were touched that my son and my husband prayed with them, and since then our families have begun to form a friendship.
That, my friends, is the work of the Holy Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit, the whole missional family thing is fruitless…which we’ll talk about more in the next post in this series: Missional Family: Receive
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