When I grow up . . .


A mission-minded child may want to become a missionary–or a teacher or a doctor or a newspaper reporter or a state governor or a pastor or a businessperson or an airplane pilot or an author or a florist or a mother–as long as its what God wants.

Photo: For 12-year-old mission-minded Caela Dunagan’s first MISSION TRIP (to Uganda, East Africa), ministry highlights included updates/checkups on hundreds of children at Harvest Ministry’s orphan ministries, sharing at several village churches, and ministering at an African Women’s Conference.



The following excerpt is a highlight from the introduction of The Mission-Minded Child – Raising a New Generation to Fulfill God’s Purpose (Authentic, 2007). Hope you enjoy it!

So, what is a mission-minded child?

A mission-minded child . . .

  • dreams of fulfilling God’s destiny.
  • prays for that next-door neighbor.
  • A mission-minded child may want to become a missionary–or a teacher or a doctor or a newspaper reporter or a state governor or a pastor or a businessperson or an airplane pilot or an author or a florist or a mother–as long as its what God wants.
  • is not a picky eater!
  • takes home a photo magnet from the visiting missionary family and puts it on the kitchen refrigerator.
  • is healthy, active, and adventurous.
  • spends a summer night sleeping outside on the trampoline, gazes up at a sky filled with twinkling stars, and realizes God’s plan is infinitely bigger than his or her own backyard.
  • imagines rollerblading on the Great Wall of China!
  • recognizes the names of David Livingstone, Amy Carmichael, Hudson Taylor, and Loren Cunningham.
  • knows how to use chopsticks.
  • has a reputation for thoroughly enjoying the Bible sword drills and memory verse contests at church.
  • puts extra money in the monthly missions offering and feels extra good inside.
  • thinks it could be fun to sleep in a mud hut in Africa!
  • reads all the way through the Bible by the age of ten (or eleven or twelve)–and is excited to start again!
  • stares at the photos in the new geography textbook or magazine and imagines climbing to the top of that Egyptian pyramid, snorkeling in those tropical-blue waters, and giving a new outfit to that poor boy with the ripped-up shirt.
  • befriends the new kid at school.
  • thinks beyond the “box” of what’s merely expected and hopes to do something big, or something little, for God.
  • wants to obey (even when no one is looking).
  • loves Jesus!

For Christian parents and teachers, “world missions” is not just an extracurricular subject to teach our kids, it’s the core of our curriculum. Let’s raise the next generation to have a passion for God’s Great Commission. As Hudson Taylor (a famous missionary to China) often said, “The Great Commission is not an option to consider, it’s a command to obey.”

And how about adding to our list!!!  How are you raising your children to have God’s heart for the world and His Great Commission, and in your childrens lives (in day-to-day routines and in your “where-the-rubber-meets-the-road” reality) what is it like to be a genuine mission-minded child in your experience?

Now it’s your turn:

A mission-minded child . . .


4 Responses to “When I grow up . . .”
  1. Caela Rose says:

    Hey Mrs. Phillips!

    Thank you for your card at church, and for your prayers, and for this note.
    You’re such a sweety! I’ll be sure to give Juma a hug for you.

    Love ya!

  2. Caela Rose says:

    Hey Rachelle!

    I got your message and thank you for praying.
    Please pray for me when I’m gone. (And I’ll be sure to hug your Diana for you.)

    Love ya!

  3. Rachelle says:

    You’re going to do big things Caela! Both in Uganda and throughout the world. God has awesome plans in store for you as you continue seeking His will diligently and fervently. You’re gentle and loving yet so passionate and focused for one your age. I can’t wait to hear the report from the trip and read your blogs. Looking forward to it all. Love you and praying for you both. May God be glorified. 🙂


  4. Susie Phillips says:

    Caela – I am so excited for your first-ever Mission Trip! God’s plans for you
    are so BIG and AWESOME!

    I am looking forward to reading your updates as your adventure unfolds. May it be
    all that you’ve imagined – and more. God has great things are in store for you.We will be praying for you and your Mom.
    I love you both!

    Mrs. Susie Phillips


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