Janie witnesses to Louise, then to Betty, then to Trisha but when it comes to witnessing to her own family she is very reluctant to spread the word. Not because she's not interested in their well being, but because her family gets very defensive when she tries to witness to them. Sometimes family members are the hardest mission field.
Emanuel is a pastor at a rather large church, most of his family has accepted the Lord as their savior. The one hold out, his older brother, who wants nothing to with Christianity. Emanuel is at a loss, he loves his brother and wants him to accept the Lord but his brother sees Christianity as a crutch for weak people.
There are many Christians like Janie and Emanuel, who have a hard time witnessing to their own families but it also appears Jesus may have had a similar problem with His family.
Mark 3:33, And he answered them, “Who are my mother and my brothers?”
Jesus, who is talking to a crowd inside a home, is approached by someone and told that his mother and brothers were there. Instead of excusing himself and going to see what they wanted He turns and declares to the crowd whoever does the will of God are my mother, sisters and brothers.
There are some who speculate that Mary and the rest of the family were there to take Jesus back home because they thought him to be out of his mind. After all what Jesus was proclaiming was something radically different then any message they had heard before, dying to self, being born again, loving those who many believed to be beyond God's love, talking to God without the help of a mediator and many more new doctrines.
Perhaps Mary like John the Baptist was there to get clarification from her son about what He was doing. Whatever the reason, Mary and the rest of Jesus' family were there, from this brief passage it appears Jesus had witnessed to His close earthly family before and the message had either fallen on deaf ears or had not been well received.
Mark 3:35 For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.”
There is however a lot of hope for Christians who witness to their families and deal with the day to day struggles of the family missions. After Jesus' death and resurrection it appears His brothers received the message and believed because they became great leaders in the new church.
In the end all we can do is deliver the message to our families, pray to God to open their hearts to receive the message and then have faith in God to take care of the rest. Here are five tips which should help when witnessing to relatives.
- Remember to live the life of a Christian even around family member. Sometime Christians tens to go into hiding around family members for fear they will be offended. Jesus stood his ground, he preached the same message around his family as he did everywhere else.
In the same manner do not be so overwhelming as to alienate family and friends for that matter. While it is okay to be excited about the Gospel, don't jam it down each family member's throat. Jesus preached the message to His family, when they didn't instantly believe He stepped back and let them come to terms with the Gospel in their own time.
Also do not take a family members rejection of the Gospel personally. Salvation is a work of God all anyone can do is plants the seeds, God does the watering and helps the seeds to sprout.
Invite family members to church services such as Easter service, Christmas service, baptisms and other services.
Pray, pray, pray. God hears prayers so pray for family members on a regular basis.