Amy Beatrice Carmichael was an Irish Christian missionary in India who opened an orphanage and founded a mission in Dohnavur. She served in India for 55 years. Here is a woman who dedicated her life as a single women to hundreds of orphan children. When I read about women like Amy I honestly feel a slight pinch in my heart that I live a rather boring, dull life that doesn’t boast radical living for Jesus. She seems unreachable, far beyond my scope as a Christian woman and mother of two. 

We believe impact is weighted on the many, but what if impact is weighted on even one? As a mother, I have the privilege of impacting the two children in front of me for the kingdom. I’ve not been commissioned with 100 children, but I have been entrusted with two. Every day I navigate how to spend my time, resources and energy into their present and future wellbeing. Some days appear fruitful, while other days feel like right flops. But again, with even two, I often feel overwhelmed.

Your Kid Needs a Village

Did you know that studies have shown kids need approximately 5 other adults in their lives to extend an influence of faith in order to have a lasting faith? Dr. Kara Powell and Dr. Chap Clark in their book Sticky Faith reveal from their studies that kids need a ratio of 5:1(adults to child) in order to produce a lasting faith that sticks. The discipleship influence of others matters when it comes to the fruit of your child’s faith.

Studies have shown kids need approximately 5 other adults in their lives to extend an influence of faith in order to have a lasting faith.

I have born witness to this reality with the ongoing presence of a dear friend in my boys’ lives. She carves out time to connect with my boys on a regular basis. This is over meals in our home, board games over snacks, the odd outing here and there. But beyond doing life with my kids, she sends memory verses and prays earnestly for my boys. She teaches them God’s word in formal and informal settings. Part of our village, she has become an instrumental adult in shaping the faith of my children. I am not alone. She has a profound understanding of her role as fellow Christian woman in the lives of my children.

The Village Includes Children

Christians nurture the affection of others and this includes children who are a part of God’s church family. Paul is testimony to that. In Galatians 4:19 he labours for the Galatian believers, his ‘children’, offering them nurture (1 Thessalonians 2:7) and affection and love (Phillipians 1:8). He is regularly concerned about them (2 Corinthians 12:15), sacrifices on their behalf (2 Corinthians 12:15) and prays (Ephesians 3:14). All the while offering them the hope of the gospel (1 Thessalonians 2:8). Do we believe these commands are for our peers only? Do we as adults believe this love, nurture, sacrifice and prayer should extend to the children in our church?

It takes a village to raise a child of faith. Which children are in your life and sphere of influence? How could you be intentional about encouraging them? What is your next step?

What Children See

I spent some time asking my kids how they viewed my single friend’s presence in their life. Both spoke about the joy of shared activities like puzzles and games. But when I asked more specific faith orientated questions my youngest son had full assurance that she loved Jesus because she shared God’s word with him. My oldest son, when sharing, actually grew tender and teary with joy at the impact she had had on his faith. He expressed how she had showed him how to love Jesus and was a constant encouragement in his life. All the moments she had shared, whether in fun or in refinement, were impacting their faith. I was not alone and neither were they. We were part of a village. We collectively can impact a few, one disciple at a time. It takes a village to raise a child of faith.