Hi everyone, How do you share the gospel with your family?
Hi @Juan_Garcia, that is a great question;
You would know your family members very well; and understand what makes them tick. Each are individuals with different interests, at different stages in life, having been through different good and bad times in life that has shaped who they are and how they see the world. We can ask questions to have a good conversation and as Ravi states “Reach the questioner behind the question”; rather than needing to win an intellectual argument.
@SeanO, shared a post a while ago called the ‘Engel Scale’; if we can have a conversation that moves people just one step closer on the path to understanding Who Jesus is and What he’s done, that is good; we can sow seeds and trust that God (the Holy Spirit) will use the conversation and His Word to work on their hearts. See this thread for the diagrams…
in the RZIM Core Module (which I can recommend very highly) we learnt that a person’s worldview is made up of 4 simple but quite comprehensive questions that we all must answer. If you are able to have a conversation using questions try to draw it back to just one of these areas this might spark curiosity so the person goes and starts to research further; Try to think of questions that cannot be just pushed away and really stick with a person;
How do you think the universe came into existence?
How do you think human life began?
What is the purpose of human life?
How do you determine good and bad?
What will happen at the end (at death)?
People need both intellectual answers; and emotional (relationship) answers; in the first and greatest commandment; Jesus said we are to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength; and of course this is not possible without becoming a Christian / following Christ and why the Gospel is so important;
Two resources that might get you started are the Animated video series by William Lane Craig (Reasonable Faith); https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL3gdeV4Rk9EfL-NyraEGXXwSjDNeMaRoX; in particular I like the Cosmological Argument (and the Fine Tuned Argument) and the Moral Argument for God’s existence; because those two tie directly back to Scripture where the knowledge of God is in all of us; by both
- the Creation (externally) : Romans 1:19-20;
- and our Conscience (internally excusing or accusing us) : Romans 2:15.
… and the second resource that might be good after a conversation is my favourite John Lennox small book “Can Science Explain Everything?”; because it has the Gospel message towards the end of the book in the section “Conversation on a train”. You might be able to give this (or a similar book) to them to read through after a conversation?
and most importantly, pray first; because only the Holy Spirit is the one that can bring the Word of God alive and help you in your conversations.
Hope that’s a little to get you started?
Hi Juan, that is a great question because it applies to my situation as well. I must say that I have found it very hard to witness especially to my parents. I think it can be hard for many parents to think that their children may have some answers to life’s big questions that they themselves have not thought on. The first way I would start by sharing the gospel to family is by actively living out your faith so that they may see the transformation in your own life. Love your family with the love of God and respect them if they wish not to talk about spiritual matters. Something I learnt a few years back is that it is important to remember that it is not your job to save them! That is God’s job. You are however called to love them.
John 13: 34-35: "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
I hope that is of some help Juan but like you this is also an area that I am seeking more answers into.
Hi @Juan_Garcia do you mean to your parents and siblings or your children?
Although my whole family is Christian (except for my brother) I do understand how strange or difficult it could be to share the gospel with your family because my in-laws are not Christian. For me, the key has been to apply the gospel to your life. Your relationship with Christ should be number one in your life and you should be trying to learn and spend time with Him every day. The relationship with Christ will transform and grow you in wisdom which makes sharing the gospel more natural.
Look for moments where you can kindly ask some good questions that point to what happens when we die? Is it possible God could exist and what do we make of the historical Jesus? All you want to do is either plant a seed or put a metaphorical stone in their shoe to get them to think about the bigger picture. If they don’t care then it could be really difficult to have a productive conversation.
Don’t worry about knowing everything, just start a conversation and trust that God will guide you as things progress. Also, remember that not every conversation is meant to lead to a conversation so relax and enjoy the process my friend. Never stop learning about God and keep praying before every encounter if you can.
Hi @Juan_Garcia! This is very relevant question and on so many of our minds over this holiday season. Thanks for opening up this discussion! The community has contributed some really thoughtful insights here (thanks, all!), so I would just add one more angle that challenges me:
We assume a lot when we interact with our families—after all, we’ve known them for a lifetime!
@matthew.western is right! But what I wanted to add to this is that because of this familiarity, we tend to hear them through a whole filter of assumptions. This definitely isn’t always bad. (We often value not having to explain ourselves!) But it can get us stuck and stifle the possibilities of new connections.
I think one powerful help toward engaging your family can be to make a prayerful and concerted effort to really listen to your family afresh. Hear what they are actually saying, don’t just mentally fill in what they mean. Ask questions and assume less. This is a wonderful way to honor and love them, to open new conversations and possibilities, and to put your finger on the pulse of what is currently on their hearts and minds.
Like @matthew.western said, knowing what makes them tick gives you special insight into what touch points or gateways for the gospel might resonate with them. I would expand on that to add that asking and listening to their current concerns, desires, burdens, hopes, and fears provides you a context for how the gospel might be intersecting with their present felt situation.
May you be blessed and empowered by the Spirit, @Juan_Garcia, as you seek to faithfully live as a witness to the love of God in your family!
Thanks you blessings