This Christmas many of you will be traveling to spend time with your families or opening up your home for relatives to come and celebrate. And, if you are like me, you have family members that aren’t believers. This is a great opportunity to be missional!
But sharing the gospel with family members can be even more daunting that sharing with a complete stranger. These people are your blood and you fear that you will ruin family ties and be marked the ‘Jesus Freaks’ of the family.
Here are a few tips that will help you live with gospel intentionality toward your unbelieving family this Christmas:
- Remember Jesus’ Family Situation
John 7:5 tells us, “For not even his brothers believed him.” Jesus knew what it was like to be rejected by those closest to him. He didn’t let this get in the way of His God-given mission.
Our commitment to Christ and the will of God is far more binding than that of our earthly families.
- Don’t Fear Rejection
Matthew 10:34-39 says, “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against, his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
The point here is not that we are to completely reject our families as followers of Christ. But as believers, our ultimate allegiance is to Jesus Christ. This may mean that our families reject us. Don’t be discouraged or surprised.
- Be Clear About the Gospel
During the Christmas season people put on their religious robes. Your family may acknowledge the birth of Christ as important and attend a candle light service. But, as we’ve said many times here, religion is not the Gospel. We must address sinful man’s need of a savior that can only be found in Jesus Christ.
- Trust the Spirit (Don’t feel like you have to ‘close the deal’)
The Spirit does the work. It should be a relief that it’s not up to you! Be faithful, intentional, and clear, but know that God is the one who will open their hearts to His Son if He graciously pleases.
Two of Jesus’ unbelieving half-brothers were James and Jude. God, in His timing, opened their hearts to the truth of the death and resurrection of Jesus. They went on to be Church leaders and New Testament authors.
- Be Thankful for Your Unbelieving Family
Make sure they know it. One of the worst witnesses to unbelieving family is that they are considered less important because they are not Christians. Let them know you love them regardless and that your love for them is what drives your evangelism.
Thank God for the opportunity to share the greatest love with those closest to you. Let it stir your hearts for your neighbors and co-workers as well.
There are only five here. Have anymore?