Like Us

So many of us start out in our 20s full of dreams and idealism, and then reality hits.

So many of us start out in our 20s full of dreams and idealism. We’re going to see the world. We’re going to address injustice. We’re going to touch the widow and the orphan.

And then—WHAM!!—reality hits. You get married, have kids, and get a job and a mortgage. Throw in the odd crisis—the loss of a job, sickness—and all those dreams fall by the wayside.

You feel the weight of responsibility, and who can blame you for giving up?

But the good news for any of you who wonder if life is passing you by is that you do have options. Here are five:

1. Prioritize Simplicity

Get a job that gives you the flexibility to live missionally. Who says you need to live at such a high standard of living? Why not buy a clunker instead of being strapped to a car payment? What if you were to rent an inexpensive apartment instead of buying a house? Take a Dave Ramsey seminar, and you might be surprised at the options that open up to you. If you had more time and money, you could be more missional. By living simply, my daughter Emily is leading a project in a Honduran orphanage right now. Downsize and you could join her.

2. Family Sabbatical

This is a great option if you’ve got a job that allows you significant time off. A lot of teachers have two months off in the summer, and some of them go on long mission trips. Beyond that, some people are able to take an extended leave of absence to volunteer somewhere. One of our best parenting decisions was to bring our kids with us on long mission trips to Mexico, Swaziland, and Peru.

Seth Barnes I'm a work in process. I've found that the main thing one needs in a relationship with God is hunger to know Him and be in His presence. As for the rest of my life, Karen and I are going through a transition as three of our five children are leaving the nest, leaving us with our two youngest, two dogs & a cat. One of our great consolations is the wonderful group of friends at AIM. They are truly the body of Christ to us. Life here is always an adventure and I wouldn't have it any other way!

More from Seth Barnes or visit Seth at

Please Note: We reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, uncivil and off-topic. Read a detailed description of our Comments Policy.
  • Peter Selaelo Makgato

    Pastor, I find solace in men of God like you who selflessly preach the Word of God with great aplomb. Every day with Jesus is sweeter than the day before. I don’t know how do people who don’t have God live their lives. i cannot live a millisecond without my God by my side. I love him so much to such an extend I wont allow him to be out of my sight. Keep the good work up. You may not have the desired results here on earth but all I know is that blessings await you in Heaven. Keep on keeping on. The journey is still too long for you.


    My family and I have been on the mission field for amost 14 years in Thailand doing church planting or activities that foster church planting. I am finding missional thinking needs to be on the cutting edge of what we do in the Buddhist world. Just because you live in a place with very few believers does not mean your being missional. it is a start, but kind of like owning a car, but not driving it. The day in day out stuff, the relationships and the people you get involved with really matters here in Thailand, just like it does back in the USA. It is true that we can do so much more with money and time than we think we can. It is easy to not see what is right beside us in opportunity as we plan and write more stategies as a missionary. I have found many ideas of the missional movement are helpful for me in the Buddhist world even though I see them as more western. People have needs and want relationships no mater who they are. So, thanks for the good ideas.

  • Billy Or Michelle Chrzan

    Would you be willing to contact me and offer a litle assistance? I am currently in the Missions field with my family. I feel we aren’t doing much of value or worth for the Kingdom at this time, so therefore I don’t have many good stories to tell….and I have been asked to speak at a couple of Churches in a few weeks and I have never ever spoke in front of a Church to raise money before. My email is


WATCH: John Piper | God Is for Us

He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? —Romans 8:32