Witnessing to family! Ugh! Just the thought can be daunting. Our family knows our past, can point out our failures, and … well … sometimes can get under our skin. Many consider evangelism to family the most difficult type of soul winning.
Nonetheless, Christmas presents an opportune time to shine your light for Jesus to all – including family. As you gather with loved ones this Christmas season, let these soul-winning tips encourage you to bring your family one step closer to receiving Christ.
- Pray, Pray, Pray. Don’t sit back and let the devil take your loved ones without a fight. God is looking for someone to stand in the gap on behalf of your family – and let that someone be you! Lift their names up before God and ask Him for their salvation. Even take it one step further and get a prayer partner to agree with you!
- Look for opportunities to lift high the name of Jesus. Ummm … this is where the devil wants Christians to choke; he will do whatever he can to keep you from speaking, “Jesus.” Why? Because there is no other name by which we are saved. Once you insert the name of Jesus into conversations with family members, you are 90% on your way to presenting the gospel or sharing your personal testimony.
- Ask God to give you creative ways to display the love of Christ. God knows exactly how your family members need to be loved and will give you ideas that perhaps you would never consider. Also, make the decision to love even when they don’t. The unconditional love of God will soften their hearts and create a clear path for you to present the gospel.
- Write an evangelistic letter if a conversation is difficult. Sometimes you can express yourself better when you take your time and get your thoughts on paper without interruption. In addition, your loved one can read and reread your letter. And the next time you see your family member, ask if they received your letter. This will give you a huge opening to further explain the gospel.
- Don’t be moved by what you see. Just as God gave Noah the design for the ark, and Moses the blueprint for the tabernacle, so God has a plan for the salvation of your family members. Even if their reaction to the gospel is antagonistic, trust that God is working behind the scenes. Decide to walk by faith and not by sight regarding to your family’s salvation.
- Keep relationships with family members open … as much as is possible with you. A broken relationship will hinder many conversations about Jesus. Although God can use a stranger to share the gospel with them, He also wants to use you. Ask God to heal the relationship and then do whatever you can to make amends.
- Admit when you are wrong. A simple “Please forgive me,” might advance your witness further than telling your family member that Jesus loves them 50 times. When there is a disagreement, be the first one to apologize; let them see what it looks like to run to the foot of the cross. While you don’t have to be perfect in front of them, you do have display the character of Christ, including humility.
- Consistently model a godly life before them. Do you have sin, wrong attitudes, or comprising behaviors that tarnish your witness? Do family members see you living for God one moment, but living like the world the next? This causes great confusion and raises a lot of perplexing questions in their minds. While your life can’t save anyone no matter how righteously you live, you also don’t want to present a skewed view of God. Ask God to change you, as He is changing them.
Dr. Jamie Morgan is lead pastor of Life Church (Assemblies of God) in Williamstown, New Jersey. She graduated with her doctor of ministry from the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary. Jamie is the author of A Journey to Ministry: Discover Your Calling, Purpose and Destiny. Her website is JamieMorgan.com.