Evangelizing Your Household: What Works Best?
It is evident from the Scriptures that many times when a person trusted Christ, the entire household came to know Him. Referring to Lydia, Acts 16:15 says, “And when she and her household were baptized . . .”
Several verses later, is the account of Paul’s and Silas’ ministry to the Philippian jailer. Not only did he trust Christ, but “immediately he and all his family were baptized” (Acts 16:33).
Sometimes “household” appears to refer not only to the immediate family but also to close acquaintances. For example, Acts 10:2 records that Cornelius “feared God with all his household.” When Peter went to minister the gospel to him, Cornelius “had called together his relatives and close friends” (10:24).
In a similar way, when a person trusts Christ today, understandably his most immediate and effective ministry is often to those he knows best. The question is, how do you go about reaching close acquaintances? Should you try to talk to them yourself, ask someone older in the faith to talk to them, or take them to church? Which way works best?
The answer is neither limited nor restricted. Sometimes the person who met Christ was himself the ambassador of good news. In Mark 5:19, Christ instructed the one formerly possessed of demons to go home and tell his friends what happened. Other times, Jesus used conversations across the meal table to reach a man’s family and friends (Matt. 9:10). Still other times, it was through ministry in the temple or the church gathered in his home in which a man’s acquaintances were saved (Acts 2:46–47, 5:42).
The point is simple: You evangelize relatives and friends the way you do anybody—starting where they are and using whatever means is most effective at the moment. Some will accept your invitation to an evangelistic meeting where they will hear a clear presentation of the gospel. The advantage this has is that some will often listen to somebody outside the family quicker than they will listen to near kin.
Others might welcome an informal home bible study or attend an evangelistic dinner. You will need to sit down with others and share the good news of the Savior with them one-to-one. Still others might open up across the lunch table away from other members of their family.
Relax! You have one message but a variety of ways and settings. Spend time in prayer asking God to open doors and give wisdom as to which would initially be most effective in communicating the gospel to them. Then—go use it!
PO Box 703929
Dallas, TX 75370-3929