by Jodi Brook

‘Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God’ (Romans 15:7).

Reaching out in Christ’s name reflects Jesus’ command to his disciples in Matthew 28:19,20: ‘Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always.’

These verses show a way of life that is the responsibility of all of us. It suggests a way to live in this present age – we are Jesus’ disciples in today’s world. It is up to us to reach out with the love of Jesus.

So how do we do reach out in Christ’s name to children, young people and families in the wider community? Here are some ideas of how to promote Christian evangelism through household hospitality and the ministries of your congregation.

As individuals

‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these’ (Matthew 19:14).

Wherever you are, welcome children and young people.

  • Learn the names of the children and young people of your congregation and of those you meet. Greet them using their name.
  • Consider being a mentor of a young person or newcomer of your congregation.

As families

‘Sitting around a table goes much further to connect people to one another than simply sitting in the same pew.’ – Rev Dr David Anderson, Vibrant Faith in the Congregation

  • Welcome families into your home and share your faith rituals and traditions. Be intentional about talking about your Christian faith.
  • Say grace before your meal, share your favourite Bible story or verse. Pray for them.
  • Share how God has been working in your life this week.

As a congregation

‘Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do it with gentleness and respect’ (1 Peter 3:15).

Think about offering a special ministry that is welcoming of new and non-Christian families. Invite families from your local community. Consider running Messy Church or mainly music to serve them. Grow Ministries can assist you to find a resource that may work for you and have fact sheets that can help.

  • Consider offering worship on a Friday or Saturday evening, which might be a more accessible time to families with children and/or young people.
  • Include events on your youth calendar to which students can invite their friends. Provide opportunities for congregation members to volunteer at these events to support those in youth ministry.
  • Be a presence and provide a service at community events like festivals or local markets.
  • Include stories of local community heroes in your church publications.
  • Get involved alongside children, youth and families in service activities either at your church or those organised by your local community.

Jodi Brook is Director of Grow Ministries.

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