If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.

Nine years ago I was excited to become “Daddy” to Noah, the first child in the Jarvis tribe. And, upon entrance into the wonderful world of fatherhood, I was rightly challenged from all sides to be a good leader for my family.

Just about every book, podcast, article, seminar, or preacher I’ve found on the topic of fatherhood has been unified on that point. Fathers need to lead their families spiritually.

But lead them where, exactly?

Much has been written on how a family should be led – with vision, with integrity, with faithfulness, with love, with biblical wisdom, etc. But still, those principles don’t answer the more critical question - where are we supposed to end up?

Thus far on the journey, I’ve found three answers:

  1. I want to lead my family to walk with God, which is the purpose of our lives.
  2. I want to lead my family to “love one more,” which involves compassion, generosity, and hospitality.
  3. I want to lead my family to help complete the Great Commission, making disciples across the world.

Certainly other components are important too – for kids to grow up to be productive, patriotic, prosperous, well-rounded, etc. But when it comes to spiritual leadership, I want to be sure they don't grow up and miss these three fundamentals.

For the past few weeks, we’ve been discussing family mission during our Sunday services, specifically regarding how families can engage in Great Commission work, together. Families can pray about the workers needed in the harvest fields (Luke 10:2), start using their time, talent, and treasure to plant gospel seeds (2 Corinthians 9:6-11), and even be involved in strategic mission projects that carry light into dark places (Romans 10:9-14).

How are people responding?

  • One grandfather said he wished he’d heard all of this stuff thirty years ago, and is considering how he can influence his grandchildren toward generosity.
  • One couple decided to sponsor a child in Africa, and brought in a picture of the little girl to show off.
  • One dad said he started leading his family in prayer for two unsaved relatives.
  • Many people took “Great Commission Boxes” home to start turning their dollars into missionaries.

Small steps like these eventually lead to changed lives and gospel impact. In fact, every step we take, however large or small we may think they are, lead somewhere. Do you think the people in the stories above are stepping in the right direction?

What step will you take next, and where will it lead your family?

On mission with you,

Dan Jarvis
Interim Teaching Pastor