8 Ways to Connect Evangelistically with Non-believing Family Members over the Holiday

Many of us will be hanging out with unbelieving family members this Thanksgiving week, and we’re hoping to be a good Christian witness around them. Maybe these ideas will help you move in that direction:

  1. Before you join your family, pray for God to give you opportunity, boldness, and clarity as a witness. That’s what Paul asked others to pray for him (Eph. 6:18-20, Col. 4:2-4), so follow his lead.
  2. Hand a note of gratitude to a family member. Surprise somebody with a Thanksgiving card, and let them know you’re thankful to God for them. Maybe that gift will open a door for a gospel conversation.
  3. If someone you haven’t seen for some time asks how you’re doing, insert a word about God’s hand in your life. It’s not that hard to say something like, “You know, God’s taken care of us this year through good and bad, and we’re doing well.” 
  4. If you’re asked to say the blessing, don’t be afraid to thank God for the salvation He has provided. It’s an honest prayer, and it allows you to briefly share what Christ has done for us.  
  5. Avoid unhelpful debates over the dinner table. It’s hard to speak about God’s grace when you’re raising your voice about such things as politics (and even sports, in some cases).
  6. Quietly, one-on-one let your family know that you pray for them. Ask what prayer requests they might have – and see where the conversation goes.
  7. Reach out to family members who are most unlovable. All of our families have them. They sometimes sit by themselves, or they might be obnoxious and loud. In either case, give them your time and attention.
  8. Make a phone call to a family member who’s not present at the family gathering. Take the initiative to engage in this conversation: “I really love you. I just want you to know I’m praying for you and would love to talk more about what Jesus means in my life if you’re open to it.” You never know who might be ready to talk.

What other ways would you add to this list? 

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