Let’s face it—as a pastor or church leader, you boldly lead people to Christ week-in and week-out. But sometimes the people we most desperately want to reach are the ones sitting across the table from us during holidays: our family.
And, if we’re honest, they can sometimes feel like the ones who are the hardest to minister to. Why? Family can either remember us in our less than holy years, and discount our devotion to God. Or, sometimes our higher calling can make them feel less than or judged, especially if they’ve been hurt by the church in the past. Or, like many people, our loved ones simply may not see their sin nature, and they think of themselves as a “good person” who doesn’t need Jesus.
So what can we do this holiday season to spur our family members toward a relationship with Christ? Or help them deepen their relationship with Christ? Even if the topic of church rarely comes up, here are a few ways you can easily lead the conversation toward the topic of faith.
4 Ways to Share Your Faith with Family During the Holidays
Sports. Whether it’s the recent World Series, college football, basketball, or little league soccer, the topic of sports can dominate any holiday gathering. Our partner, Sports Spectrum, works with professional athletes to share their faith in Jesus. You can watch testimonials from pro football and baseball players to be ready to share more than just their stats with your family.
Sports Spectrum also offers a free sermon message, Football Sunday, for churches to use on the biggest gameday of professional football: Super Sunday. Go ahead and sign up for this incredible, evangelistic tool while on the site.
Phones. Phones don’t have to replace face-to-face conversation—they can be an opportunity to initiate conversation. When you see your family and friends buried in their phone, use this as an opportunity to point out your favorite apps that help you engage in the word of God.
- YouVersion Bible App: Encourage your family to download the YouVersion Bible app and start a reading plan by themselves or with the whole family through the Plans With Friends feature.
- Bible Lens: Snap a family picture and then pull it into the new Bible Lens app. The app will select a scripture based on what’s in the photo, allowing you to show your family how a simple photo can be turned into a reminder of God’s Truth.
- The Bible Project videos: The Bible Project is another great Open Network partner, and they offer vibrant, rich overviews of the books of the Bible. They’re a fantastic resource to understand scripture and themes of the Bible–and a great way to wait on the turkey as it finishes cooking. Watch videos on Open Network or their YouTube channel.
- Your church app or YouTube channel: Don’t forget to point out your church’s app or YouTube channel. Give your family a way to connect with your church and show them sermons or events that were the most moving this past year.
Books and podcasts. Be ready to discuss the books and podcasts that have contributed the most to your growth—spiritual and otherwise. Be honest and vulnerable about how the content has challenged and spurred you in your thinking. Being vulnerable gives them permission to open up, too.
Conversation. Engage in conversation with your family by listening, asking caring questions, and offering heartfelt encouragement. Everyone wants to feel needed and known, even within their family. Consider spending extra time with a family member who’s been through a challenging time or who’s making decisions the family generally disagrees with. Offer plenty of grace and kindness—still with truth.
Remember, you’re using this time to plant seeds with your family. You may or may not lead a family member to the Lord at the end of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade or at halftime during the Detroit game, but you’re helping them see that God is woven into their everyday life. And, He’s a kind, loving God who wants to know them and meets them where they are—to invite them to His family table.
FOMO is real, so don’t take chances.
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