Evangelizing Families

At no time in history has evangelizing families been
more strategic than right now.

This month, Lausanne World Pulse tackles the issue of evangelizing families. At no time in history has this been more strategic than right now. The family as a social unit is being both chiseled away and vehemently attacked by our surrounding world culture.

Rising divorce rates; increasing individualism and hedonism; and an increasing secularization and pluralization of schools and media are present. Adults and children alike are not encouraged to seek faith, seek truth or seek strength from within families. However, in scripture, we see time and time again the great redemption of entire families into living faith in Christ Jesus. From the faith journeys of Moses’ and Joshua’s family, to the conversion of the Apostle Paul’s jailor and the jailor’s entire family, we see that God’s heart and desire is for families to love and serve him.

The Lausanne Women’s Network
This past June 2007, the Lausanne Women’s Network gathered in Marburg, Germany, for a week of fellowship, teaching and prayer. One of the most pressing needs in the Church voiced by women around the world was the need to bring entire families to faith. In many churches worldwide, women constitute the majority of church attendees and yet many are married to unbelieving husbands and/or have unbelieving children. At the gathering in Germany, many of the women determined that one of the most effective strategies for evangelism to families is to evangelize children, especially through education. These children can then share what they have learned with their parents.

It is in these creative ways in evangelizing to families that Christ can bring different generations together and reconcile broken relationships.

The Lausanne Bi-Annual International Leadership Meeting
Also this past June, over 350 leaders from sixty countries gathered in Budapest, Hungary, for the Lausanne Bi-Annual International Leadership Meeting. Three significant streams of leaders gathered 18-22 June: the first generation of senior leaders of Lausanne; current leaders of Lausanne; and younger emerging leaders. Every movement needs the experience of those who have gone before, the leadership of those currently engaged and the enthusiasm, vitality and promise of a new generation. Similarly, every social structure, including the family, needs the wisdom of the past, the strength of the present and the hope and passion for the future. How beautiful would the picture be of entire families redeemed and every member working synergistically for the cause of Christ to call other families into living faith in the Lord Jesus?

As we plan and pray for the future, let us be even more deliberate in the development of strategies to evangelize families and energize them to lead us into the next exciting level of world evangelization.

Thank you, once again, for your partnership in the work of the gospel. May God continue to wonderfully bless you.

Doug Birdsall is executive chair of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization. He served as president of Asian Access from 1991 to 2007 and continues to serve on their board of directors. Birdsall is a graduate of Wheaton College, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Harvard University. He is co-publisher of Lausanne World Pulse.