This an extension of both mentoring and being planted in a local church. Local churches are in the business of winning souls and making disciples, fulfilling the Great Commission. Find out how your local church does it in the city where you live. Get involved!
A Gospel Outline
When our children were very young we taught them a simple Gospel outline with hand motions so that they would remember it clearly. The outline was simply this: God, Man, Jesus, Faith. We started by explaining that God was holy and He loved us, but man had a big problem: SIN, rebellion against a holy God. Because God loved us so much, He became a man, sending His Son, Jesus to die for our sins. We have to respond to the Gospel with faith or rejection. To have faith in Jesus is to trust Him and surrender fully to His lordship in our life. If we don't receive His free gift of eternal life, we are rejecting Him. This is the Gospel in a nutshell.
We taught this to our children over and over. Then we role played sharing the Gospel with people. I would pretend to be a little child on the playground and we would role play a conversation that might lead up to a chance to share the Gospel. We did this many times for several years until our children were confident sharing the Gospel.
Mike and I modeled sharing the Gospel in our daily lives when our children were with us. We looked for opportunities to turn the conversation to Jesus and share the Good News. By watching us, our children learned to speak to others about Jesus in a natural way.
Sharing the Gospel
One year, six of the children from both families ended up on the same soccer team and the coach was unsaved. We began to storm heaven with our prayers. All the kids, especially, Jenny Rose, invited him to church at every practice and every game. Finally, he gave in. Two years later, he's accepted Jesus and is part of his church. Now, his entire family is starting to come to church too and we are praying for each one to come to know Jesus in a personal way.
Coach regularly thanks Jenny Rose for "nagging him to death about coming to church." He is a different person, calmer, full of peace. Even his face looks different. Jesus truly changes lives! This was such an amazing opportunity for us to share the Gospel with someone that we loved and cared about. Best of all, the six Curtis and Nolette children were winning the lost, fulfilling the Great Commission.
When we share the Gospel with people, it is not just our desire that they receive Christ. Yes, we want them to ask Jesus to be their Lord and Savior, but we also want them to walk everyday for the rest of their lives fully surrendered to the lordship of Jesus Christ. We want to make disciples, not just converts. So, we talk to non-Christians not just about the Gospel, but about serving the Lord and living the Christian life. We talk about things like repentance, sin, holiness, obedience, purity. Really? In this day and age? Yes, we do! The Bible is still true! So, we share truth with those who are future disciples of Jesus.
According to Matthew 18:18-20, making disciples involves three things: going, baptizing, and teaching. To "go" means to be proactive in seeking to share your faith and teach. We don't wait for people to come to us, we go to them with boldness and love. To "baptize" comes into play when we lead someone to Christ and they are baptized into a local church. To "teach" is the largest, most consuming part of making disicples. If you look at our verse, you'll see that we are to teach EVERYTHING Jesus commanded. Wow! That's a truckload of Bible knowledge and practical application to pass on! When someone gets saved, start with the basics: reading the Bible, obedience, prayer, worship, fellowship, and witnessing. Then move on to other topics.
Your children can teach other children these basic principles. My little ones have taught their friends how to have a Quiet Time. Your child can be a teacher too!
Your family may expand this ministry of witnessing and making disciples to other nations by inviting international students from a nearby college or university to spend time or eat meals in your home. Or you might save up some money and go on a short-term mission trip together as a family.
As you look at our call to fulfill the Great Commission, know that your family can make disciples of the nations, starting right in your own home and moving on to the city where you live. Let's live for His glory!
Happy Disciple Making with your Family!
Merey (Meredith Ludwig Curtis)