Are Missionaries Kids Missionaries?

  • Approximate Time Commitment: 10 minutes

Are you past the fun and now into the challenges of parenting third culture children? Understanding the life of a Third Culture Kid can be difficult.  This article is one element from the Grow2Serve online course Parenting Third Culture Kids. This course is for parents who have lived and ministered in a culture new and unfamiliar and who are committed to fully placing themselves into God’s hands for the sake of effective cross-cultural Gospel ministry. If you are currently engaged in cross-cultural ministry and are committed to living and serving well as a family in your context, this would be a good course for you.

Parenting Third Culture Kids will afford you the opportunity to explore some interesting information regarding the development of your parenting knowledge, perspectives, and skills while living and serving cross-culturally. But, more importantly, it also will connect you with fellow learners who are in a similar life stage.

For more information about the PTCK course and to register, visit here:

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Resource Description

Are Missionaries Kids Missionaries?


You live in a new place, so are you a new family? Or are you moving in that direction? As we endeavor to faithfully live out the ministry calling that God has placed on us, what role does our family life play? And specifically how does our parenting connect or not connect to our calling? There may be some cultural values and assumptions purposely or unintentionally placed on TCKs. Those expectations can be thrust upon children by the host country. But other conflicting standards may also come from the passport country in the form of grandparents, the sending church, the missions agency, college recruiters, and a multitude of “friends” on social media. And the parents, with their own standards, hopes, and dreams stand in the middle directing traffic.

Added to this complexity is the reality that the parents are making their own efforts to live in and adapt to the new culture and will often experience the changes at a different pace, faster or slower, than their children.

Are you using some of your cross-cultural study skills to watch and learn from what is going on with your own children? How are they formulating their own “third” culture where they can thrive and be pleasing to all the various players active in their lives?

Read the Christianity Today article “Are Missionary Kids Missionaries?” As you read, you may want to jot down some notes on concepts or examples of particular interest to you. This will help contribute to a discussion we’ll have in an upcoming forum.

Are Missionary Kids Missionaries?

A key question and a key statement from the article are:


  • “What is the role of the family in kingdom ministry?”
  • “Not despite but in the struggles of family life, many missionaries developed a more nuanced form of authentic ministry—living out the gospel in the context of their own family’s needs, brokenness, difficulties, and limits.”





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