Our obedience to the Great Commission should start at home. After all, our home is:
- Where we spend the majority of our time.
- The location of our deepest relationships.
- A place of priority according to scripture: for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God? (1 Timothy 3:5)
However, when we think of evangelism, we typically think of “there” instead of “here”. We must be careful not to become farsighted and overlook opportunities right at home. With that in mind, I hope you find these thoughts helpful as we all strive to be better about making the gospel the in our homes.
Five ways to position the gospel above all in our homes
Bring the message home. Making sure your family is in church is extremely important, but the truths that we hear at church need to be communicated at home in both word and deed. The communication of the gospel, that “Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead” should be top priority. The parent, not the pastor, should be the primary evangelist. Many churches offer resources that help you bring the sermon series home with study guides, suggested questions to ask, and more. If your church doesn't currenlty offer those resources, take your pastor aside and ask if something like that could be created.
Emphasize not just “what” but “why”. When sharing the gospel with your family, don’t just tell them “what” to believe, but tell them “why” you believe it. Sharing why you personally believe the gospel and the difference it makes in your day-to-day life is critical, but sometimes neglected. Communicating the “why” helps cement in their mind that you truly believe what you say. This is especially true for any children in the house. They are constantly looking to you for a demonstration of why the gospel is central to you. When they see consistency between the message and the method of your life, it creates a powerful testimony that sticks.
Listen while you lead. While hearing your words and observing your actions are critical, at some point, your children and other family members must decide for themselves. Give them an open forum to process and mentally wrestle with what you teach and the freedom to ask questions and form opinions. Shutting down dialog does not foster learning. In the long run, it inhibits it.
Evaluate. Evaluate your life before the Lord from time to time. Ask the question, “Am I really living out what I believe?” For example, are you modeling grace and forgiveness in your home? The Bible makes clear that the forgiveness we give others is based on the forgiveness we have received from the Lord. Our actions speak as loud, if not louder, than our words.
- Focus on others. In our culture today, it is very easy for us to insulate ourselves from others and focus solely on ourselves and our family. Strive to model for your family what Christ first modeled for us, a life of balance that includes ministering to others. Loving and reaching those outside our family will strengthen those who are inside our family and model for them what it means to follow Christ. This could take the form of regularly volunteering, being a blessing to others in your neighborhood and so much more. Be creative as you seek to demonstrate an others-first lifestyle.