In it he discusses the importance of turning our homes into centers for missional activity in our neighborhoods and activities. Instead of focusing all our attention on the inward care of the family, we need to turn our attention outward into the community. One way to do this is to have a spouse at home. He says,
Having a spouse or parent who stays at home is a tremendous opportunity to cultivate relationships with and be a blessing to neighbors. To be a missional home maker, in my opinion, would mean looking to share time, resources, and stories with those we live near. It would mean concerning yourself as much with others in your community as your own family. It would mean opening your home (clean or not!) to others for the sake of building relationships and cultivating an environment of familiarity and comfortability.
This is similar to what we call the church to do, don’t focus so much on the inner workings of the church that the mission of God gets lost in the shuffle. In fact, it is the very act of participating with God in mission that keeps things moving in the right direction.
Emily and I have similar conversations often. We’ve wondered about the possibilities of both having 3/4 time jobs so we can both be home more, and what it looks like to live in and serve our neighborhoods. Examples of this aren’t readily available probably because of the pull from our culture to always be working, earning money and serving ourselves.
We’ve always been committed to living in rough neighborhoods as a way to be light in those communities, but we’ve rarely done much in the way of living missional in those places. We want to have a home that is not only a safe space for our family but also for others in need. We know that kind of living requires serious silence, prayer, hard-work and preparedness, and that the only way to do this is to be strategically located and ready at any moment. It’s hard to be in that position constantly, but I can’t help but think that the Gospel’s call to be ready at all times challenges the way I prioritize things.
JR’s article is one prod in the right direction and I hope it is questions like these that continue to challenge our status quo.