Three Ways for Our Children to Partner with Our Evangelism
by Kristina Matz
Before we address our children's role in our evangelism, let us first address our evangelism itself. If you are like many, myself included, the idea of evangelism can seem intimidating and overwhelming. We can convince ourselves that God doesn't really want everyone to evangelize... He just "gifts" special people to do that kind of work. Or maybe you have convinced yourself that by simply living a Christian life among your non-Christian friends and co-workers you are "evangelizing with your life". These are all things that I used to say to myself. Excuses I made to get myself off the hook with actually opening my mouth and telling other people about the incredible gift of salvation that is offered through Jesus Christ. The saddest part about all of this is that it is simply not what we see in Scripture. The bible is very clear that ALL Christians are called to tell others about the Good News of Christ!
"How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?" - Romans 10:14 ESV
Another way to translate the word used here for "preaching" is "proclaiming". So, how will people hear the message of salvation without God's people boldly proclaiming it? Simple... they won't. And if we really and truly believe that the gift of salvation is necessary for an eternity in heaven, that there is no other way to be forgiven than through Christ, then we are the most unloving of all people if we do not share that news with a world that is perishing. If we allow our own fears and insecurities to stand in the way of proclaiming the message of salvation to a perishing world, then we behave in a most selfish manner and go against the call of scripture to see others as more important than ourselves...
"Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit but in humility count others more significant than yourselves." - Philippians 2:3
Now, there are whole sermons that could be taught on our mandatory call to evangelism (Our Senior Pastor Mike Fabarez has a wealth of resources at focalpointministries.org. I would highly recommend listening to his series Your Role In The Harvest if you'd like to learn more.), but that's not what this post is primarily about. This post is about getting our children to partner with us in our evangelism. So, what does that look like?
One great way to have our children partner with us in evangelism is by getting them involved in inviting others to church with us. A great time to do this is holidays like Easter and Christmas. These are times of the year that even many unbelievers are open to attending church. Our family likes to bake cookies together and then deliver them with invitations to our neighbors that we have relationships with. The kids help me in the kitchen and even help me to prepare how we will package the goodies. Often times they will even give extra suggestions regarding who they would like to invite.
Now, this means that we have to actually have established relationships with our neighbors. So, if this is an area you struggle, use these opportunities to start those relationships! Knocking on a neighbor's door with adorable children and warm chocolate chip cookies is a great way to get to know them! We need to remember that God is not more interested in square footage, curb appeal, or master bathrooms than He is with souls. We have all been sovereignly placed in our neighborhoods by the Lord! Let us remember that He already knows who our neighbors are and trust that He desires for us to have a role in their lives. Whether we are a seed planter, a seed waterer, or part of the harvest in their lives, we need to be present and available for the Lord to use us!
Another great way for our children to partner with us is by simply making and building into friendships. This can be happening around your neighborhood, in their schools, or on the sports field. But anytime that a friend is made, at least one parent is attached to that child... And that's were we come in! Our children know that we see non-Christians as an opportunity to extend Christ's love to someone. We do this with sincerity, not as a task to check off. This happens over meals or playdates. We work to foster genuine relationships so that we can ask God to give us those key conversations where we will speak boldly about the Good News of Jesus Christ. As our children make friends, our family's circle of influence for the Kingdom grows. Our children need to see that God can use their relationships for His glory! If we take the time to talk about these things with our children, we can begin to foster in them a love for others that is not just self-serving, but that looks to the interest of others as well. What a joy it would be to see parents repenting and putting their trust in Jesus Christ, giving room for Christ to transform their whole family! What child wouldn't want to have a hand in that? We simply need to help them to see just how important their relationships with other children can and should be.
All of us should be regularly praying for the lost. We should be petitioning God to save the souls of those we love. Even those that we don't know, asking for revivals to be taking place in our neighborhoods and cities! In our county! So why not bring those prayers into our prayer times with our children. While we want our children to know that all of God's children are commanded to evangelize, we also want them to realize that it is God alone who does the saving... NOT us! We need prayer to be an integral part of our evangelism as parents and we need to be modeling that to our children.
Pray for the invitations you deliver, both before and after delivering them. Invite your neighbors over for a BBQ and then pray as a family for those families that are able to attend. Pray before your children leave for school in the morning. Pray before your children go on the sports field. Pray before your children head outside to play with their neighborhood friends. Let your prayers for the lost be a normal part of your prayer times with your children. Invite them to add to the list of people that you should be praying for as a family.
Overall, we should be looking to get our children excited about sharing Christ with the lost world around us. The more we invite them into our efforts, the more we can expect to see their excitement grow!