A Review of The Mission-Minded Family by Ann Dunagan

I’m always seeking out resources to encourage families in their faith and their walk.

One such book is The Mission-Minded Family by Ann Dunagan. In this book, this homeschooling mother of seven reveals her belief that “the family is not an obstacle to ministry; it is a vehicle for ministry.” Dunagan’s is a helpful perspective when so many well-meaning parents are seeking others to care for their children so they can “minister.”

The family IS a missional community.

In Dunagan’s words, “Your family may never be called to become missionaries in a foreign country yet as followers of Jesus Christ, you are still called to be mission-minded.”

Mission-Minded Family is structured as a guidebook for parents seeking to understand the who, what and why of gospel-focused family life. Dunagan encourages readers to release their families to God’s destiny and gives many practical ways of getting started.

Dunagan carefully guides us through the tension of passion for ministry and passion for family. She wonders aloud, “what it will profit a mission-minded family to lead multitudes of unreached people to Christ … and lose even one its own kids.” She searched hard to find solid examples of missionaries who had strong family priorities, but they were few and far between. “Unfortunately, it doesn’t take long to realize that many missionary heroes with families were not heroes of the family.”

However, we are not without hope.

The Mission-Minded Family provides ways we can create traditions, become prayer champions, and reconsider our finances in ways that are mission-focused as well as training our children to take a missional view of life. It’s important that we “remember that our children will grasp our attitudes even more than the things we say.” This is true of our attitude toward ministry as well as our attitude toward our children as a result of our mission.

Readers are encouraged to remember that “the purpose is to train each member of your family to participate – even now – in Christ’s Great Commission, to share with people who desperately need Him.” Many parents might be discouraged by all the ways that feel they “can’t” ministry. But, Dunagan says, “Instead of dwelling on what you lack or what you are unable to do, seek God for ways to use your abilities for His glory.”

The Mission-Minded Family provides a plethora of ideas from dramas, biographies, holiday ideas, travel tips, and great little pieces written by children from their perspective of the mission-minded family concept. As it is a guidebook, it’s not as easy to read as One Million Arrows, but it still serves as a helpful resource for gospel-centered families.

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