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Evangelism as a Family

Jeremy:
Something we are trying to figure out, is how can the family do outreach really well? And I’m checking out this new book by Sam Chan, his book is Evangelism in a Skeptical World. One of the things he said, it’s one of the things I love about this book is that he talks about evangelism from an incredibly practical perspective. And he says things like one of his strategies is coffee, dinner, gospel. I was like, “Okay, that’s simple. That’s nice.” So basically, you’re at work and you’re getting to know somebody. And it’s important that you don’t just like, “Let me share with you Jesus.” Because oftentimes if you’re having a conversation with somebody and you want to introduce them to your faith, you need to make sure that you develop a good relationship, and that’s a deep conversation.

But a lot of us, especially with busy family life, we become less skilled than we were, or less available when we were single and had a lot more freedom. It takes a lot more intentionality to develop deep adult relations, especially new friendships. But man, it’s important that we do that because we need to be having deep conversations about real, major, very important things like our faith. And so he was saying, just an overall sense, if you find that you want to share the gospel or have a deeper conversation or develop a friendship with somebody, that the typical sort of way to think about that is you need to go out to coffee, do something that kind of takes the conversation to the next level. But during a lot of that stuff, you just want to get to know each other.

Then the second step is dinner, which I thought was interesting. I think one of the things that we’ve been really encouraging a lot of families around is it’s a really interesting experience. And I think that if people can taste the kingdom of God by having dinner with your family. And so if that’s not something that you’ve ever used or not something you’ve ever considered, we talk a lot about the power of developing a family meal, because it can become really sort of the root structure for your multigenerational family. But man, if you can craft that dinner, it can also be the hub of your evangelism. Because if people see things happening around that table that they don’t normally see, they’re going to ask questions. And that, of course, is what Sam Chan’s trying to describe. Man, how do you begin to have a real kind of gospel conversation?

Jeff:
Yeah. And I think too, I’ve never loved the model that was more prominent in probably eighties, nineties, early two thousands of tracks and some of these other things. And there’s nothing wrong with those, and millions, millions have been saved, impacted, come to the Lord through that. Just by the way, to defend that a smidge, just because something has worked, it never means there’s never a better. I think there’s so many of us who are just like, “Oh, it works, so it must be right.” No, no. We should always be saying, “What’s best? What’s best? What’s best? What’s best?” And I think what we see what’s best, even though you can have kind of these surrounding type ways of evangelism, is this real ethos of the table. That is so obvious in scripture that there’s a… And table is not just food, but table is a metaphor and an actual physical representation of relationship.

And that’s what I think got lost pretty big in the more heavy kind of track, where are you going to go when you die, four spiritual laws, dynamic windows. Even those things have obviously exposed millions of people to the kingdom. So I just think I would love to see a recovery of the table being the orbiting force of where people meet Jesus. Actually physically or just metaphorically of setting tables in relationship and building bridges and going over multi-years in a relationship with people before maybe certain things even kind of come up or something. Even though there is an urgency and of course like that, and the Lord speaks to everyone in different ways.

But I think returning to the table, returning to that kind of model. And a family has the best opportunity to do that. The family has such a good opportunity to kind of center meals as a really provocative, amazing place for them to see, like you said, the taste of the kingdom.

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