What often pops into mind are foreign fields, street corner preachers, small groups gathered over coffee, spontaneous conversations at work or school. Maybe an accepted invitation to visit your church or a private study in someone’s home.
Regularly or perhaps more often intermittently we strategize on how to shine our light bright enough or at the right angle of diffraction that it gets someone’s attention and they will naturally ask, “the reason for the hope that lies within us.” Often we are taught, trained and exhorted how to be prepared, how to create opportunities, how to recognize opportunities and how to capture opportunities to spread the gospel, share the good news and to disciple others by our words and living example.
Haven’t we all wrestled with ways to develop the kind of relationship with others that would reduce our anxiety and increase someone’s willingness to listen to us share our faith and the blessings we have as adopted children of our heavenly Father along with the benefits of belonging to His family?
Adopted…there’s that word again. Adoption is evangelism. Take a minute to think. Can you imagine a closer, deeper relationship in which you have more influence over another person than by bringing them into your home and calling them son or daughter? What other relationship has such scope and scale as the 24/7/365 nature of your own family? Where else can you command the stage around your table, where else are you so regularly observed, where but in the good and healthy nature of the family relationship you are so looked up to, loved and respected?
When Moses penned the inspired message from YHWH he conveyed the divine wisdom and structure that the family provides for the teaching, the discipline and the examples that children are to learn and follow. “You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.” Deuteronomy 11:19. Likewise when God visited Abraham before He rained down destruction on Sodom, He considered the covenant and the relationship being built with Abraham. The Lord Himself pondered letting Abraham know His plans for the twin cities in the plain. “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing, 18 since Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? 19 For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the Lord, to do righteousness and justice, that the Lord may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him.” Genesis 18:17-19.
He Seeks Godly Offspring
Perhaps the prophet Malachi establishes it best and for the record the role of the home in God’s divine plan for raising children to be His people. Those peculiar people who carry out His will, who become citizens in His kingdom, the next generation of warriors that fight our spiritual warfare and administer the Fathers justice and mercy. The prophet writes in the context of condemning the “treachery of divorce”, “But did He not make them one, Having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring (Malachi 2:15). Your marriage, your home and your family are tools God can use to provide for the fatherless who has none. Jesus, Himself emphasized His Fathers will, “For it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.” Matthew 18:14
Lastly, Paul writes and reminds his son in the faith, Timothy, “But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 3:14.
Does this model, using your family as a tool for evangelism work? Of course it does! Not only for your biological children but now we have likewise seen 38 adopted children be born again…adopted once more into the Father’s spiritual family.
Jesus said it best,
But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”Matthew 9:35-38
There are over 250,000 adoptable children in the US. Pray that God may send forth laborers and move in the hearts and minds of His people. That couples may see their home and family as a tool to provide for the fatherless trapped in this dark world, subject to its ways and perverted by its culture.
The home is a mission field. We have seen its fruits 38 times now. You don’t have to travel to foreign lands to spread the gospel and share the good news. You can start by simply opening your front door and setting one more place at your table.