When you become a believer and understand the life-changing love of Jesus Christ to forgive sin, give eternal life, transform hearts, and change lives, you want to tell everyone that you know. However, not everyone immediately responds to Jesus’ good news with excitement and awe. Some are slower to come around. Are there people in your life, or even in your family, like that?
When you become a believer and understand the life-changing love of Jesus Christ to forgive sin, give eternal life, transform hearts, and change lives, you want to tell everyone that you know. My mind immediately goes to the woman at the well in John chapter 4. After an encounter with Jesus caused her to understand that he was the Messiah, Scripture says that she left her water jug and went back to the town to tell everyone about him. His kindness, love, grace, mercy, and power overwhelmed her and she couldn’t wait to share Him with others.
We feel much the same way. We’ve encountered Jesus and come to know not only who He is, but how incredible His love is, and we want to tell everyone. We simply can’t imagine that someone wouldn’t want to know about this immeasurably good news.
However, not everyone immediately responds to Jesus’ good news with excitement and awe.
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"Some are slower to come around."
I think of Nicodemus, a well-respected Jewish teacher in Jesus’ day. John chapter 3 shows us how Nicodemus encountered Jesus and learned the truth of who Jesus was, yet wrestled with the how and why of it. He wasn’t ready to publicly accept the message of the gospel and he definitely didn’t run out to tell others about Jesus.
Are there people in your life, or even in your family, like that? Maybe they too have heard who Jesus is, but are on the fence about following him. They aren’t sure where they stand in their faith and they aren’t ready to “go public” with it.
Like me, maybe you have found yourself praying that God would draw your loved one to church so that they could have an encounter with Jesus and finally choose to follow Him.
That is a good prayer. After all, God created us for community and being a part of the Church is a beautiful and important way of walking that out. A local church is a wonderful place for the Church (body) to gather, to grow in their faith, to serve one another, and to shine the light of Jesus for others to see.
Church is the natural place where we would want our family members to go if they were wrestling through questions about Jesus, but we may shortchange those we love when we focus entirely on getting our family member to go to church.
As believers, we look to Jesus as our example in all things. Our whole purpose in life is to become more and more like Christ, so let’s look to him as our example as we decide how to best be a witness to our family member.
If we want to make an impact on the life of a loved one, we can follow the example Jesus set, and do as he did.
How to Be a Faithful Witness to Family Who Won’t Go to Church: 10 Jesus Inspired Actions You Can Take
1: Jesus didn’t take people to church, Jesus took the Church to people.
He came into towns and villages and homes and beaches with the message of the gospel. He went to where the people were and he ministered to them there. He didn’t focus on a building but on building a relationship.
2: Jesus allowed people to be where they were.
Jesus didn’t force people to be perfect or have it all together before he engaged with them. He met people where they were in their lives because he knew that an encounter with him would spark a change in them.
3: Jesus let his actions speak louder than his words.
Jesus’ words were powerful, but what often made the most impact on people were his actions. They were so different, so genuine, and so loving that people couldn’t help but be impacted.
4: Jesus spoke the truth in love.
Jesus didn’t beat around the bush. He never shied away from hard conversations and didn’t turn a blind eye to sin. He always spoke the truth, but he spoke the truth in a way that was filled with love.
5: Jesus showed grace and not condemnation.
Jesus didn’t shame or condemn, he didn’t blame or demean. Jesus lavishly poured grace over every encounter he had with people.
6: Jesus was faithful and unwavering in his life.
Jesus stayed the course. He kept his eyes fixed on the Father and on the Father’s will. He was faithful and unwavering in his devotion to honoring God and God’s call on his life. He showed, by example, that faith in God was the most important thing.
7: Jesus wasn’t afraid to enter in to the messy.
Jesus got right into the messy with people. He wasn’t afraid to be with the people that others rejected because he knew that those were the very people who needed him most.
8: Jesus gave room for people to form their own opinions.
Jesus didn’t force, nag, push, or beg. He offered truth and love to people and he allowed them to form their own opinions.
9: Jesus was patient.
Some of Jesus’ conversations and interactions were lengthy. Sometimes people didn’t get it the first time and Jesus had to keep on sharing truth and showing love, patiently waiting for the right time.
10: Jesus knew religion wasn’t the answer, relationship was.
Jesus didn’t push religion or ritual on people, what Jesus taught was faith and belief in him. He preached a message that centered on a relationship with Christ as the center, and a holy and righteous life resulting from the natural overflow of that relationship.
We know that as believers, we want to become more and more Christ-like, so let’s look to him as our example as we decide how to best be witnesses to our family members and loved ones who haven’t entered into a relationship with him yet. If we want to show them Jesus, we can follow the example Jesus set, and do as he did.
Keep praying for that family member. It would be so good for them to go to church because there aren’t too many more beautiful and meaningful things than seeing God’s love revealed in the coming together of local churches. But, it would be even better for them to choose to follow Jesus and to enter into a personal relationship with him. That relationship is going to be what causes them to choose to attend church, to pray, to read their Bible, to love others, and to grow to be more and more like Jesus.
Bobbie Schaeperkoetter is a writer, speaker, community builder, and an encourager of women at http://www.bobbieschae.com. She’s passionate about connecting women to Jesus, to one another, and to the Body of believers. You can connect with Bobbie through her website or on Instagram at http://www.instagram.com/bobbieschae or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bobbieschae.