USA (MNN) — It can be easy to get caught in thinking that to do ministry work, you have to leave your home. But according to Ron Hutchcraft with Ron Hutchcraft Ministries, ministry can be done right in your backyard.
You see, there’s this thing called a tribe. Everyone belongs to one. In fact, many people belong to multiple tribes. A tribe can be anything from roommates, family, a sports team, an occupation, to even the generation someone belongs to. It’s the people part of everyday life.
“People from the tribe are the ones who are carrying the message of Jesus to the lost people in their tribe,” explains Hutchcraft. “The most qualified messenger to explain Jesus and the difference He makes to someone in a tribe is someone from the tribe.”
It makes sense. People are more inclined to listen to people they trust, know, and respect–people who’ve been through similar experiences and can relate. Plus, tribal members know what each other need.
Still, ministering in your own neck of the woods isn’t anything new. It’s the same model Jesus set-up to be followed when He traveled to Samaria. While in Samaria, Jesus witnessed to the woman at the well in John 4. But it was because of her witness of Jesus to her people that they believed in Christ.
“I believe we all have some Samaritans around us, who would trust our Jesus, if they could just hear it from a messenger who is from their tribe, who speaks their language, who lives their stresses, who is uniquely qualified to share the difference Jesus makes for somebody like me, like us.”
But what about when this tribe is your family–people who have seen you mess up, excel, and may not take you seriously because of this? “The best way to validate the message of Jesus to your family is to give them the best daughter, or son, or mother, or father they’ve ever had,” explains Hutchcraft. “Give them the best sister or brother they’ve ever had.”
However, giving family the best of yourself requires asking God to work on what needs to be tweaked. And in the end, when a family sees the difference of Jesus, it’s a chance to share the personal testimony of God’s grace, His love, and the redemption all can have because of Christ’s death on the cross.
When the time comes to share with family, Hutchcraft suggests writing a four-part letter to your loved one starting with “I love you.” Then, thank him or her for being the person he or she is. In part three, apologize. Ask for forgiveness for the ways you’ve wronged this person. When there are things left buried, it creates a wall which only gets bigger the longer it goes unaddressed.
And finally, write an “I wish we could ____” part. Share how you wish your relationship could change, hopes for it in the future, and the love you have for them in Christ. Use this part to share your hope story in Christ without preaching at the person.
Just be careful not to nag. Pushing too hard can send a person in the opposite direction. Regardless, though, ask God to soften your loved one’s heart to Him and to be more receptive to your love and the story of the Gospel. After all, it’s God’s love story, too.