Involving and leading your kids in outreach to others is an important aspect of discipleship in the home.


Intro
The “Gospel Shaped Home” podcast is a family discipleship resource from Providence Baptist Church in Raleigh, North Carolina, that aims to equip you and your family to be on mission with God, to the end of the street and the ends of the earth.

Andy Owens
Welcome back to another episode of “Gospel Shaped Home.” I’m Andy Owens, Pastor of Family Discipleship, and once again, I am joined by Dave Owen, nearly my namesake, not exactly. He’s Owen, I’m Owens. Nevertheless, a sweet brother in Christ I’m very thankful for. Dave, welcome back.

Dave Owen
Hey, thanks for having me, Andy. Glad to be here.

Andy
Yeah, I’m glad you’re here, man. So you’ve been at Providence for quite a while. A lot of folks know who you are and know your family, but is there something you can tell us about yourself that most people in the church wouldn’t know about you, just to get to know you a little more?

Dave
Yeah, just I have an extremely competitive edge about me, that I love to win in sports, and even in church league ball and stuff. I’m playing for the glory of God, right? So if you are, you do it as unto the Lord.

Andy
You do it with all your might.

Dave
That’s right, you do it with all your might. So I probably have had some bad attitudes that didn’t represent Providence that well in the church league basketball.

Andy
Have you ever had to apologize to other folks on the court?

Dave
I don’t think I did. I’ve probably repented it, but I didn’t apologize.

Andy
Okay.

Dave
So yeah.

Andy
So be careful if you get in a pickup basketball game with…

Dave
That’s right. Yeah. I’m kind of like, “Hey, what’s happening?” But then when the clock starts, I want to win.

Andy
Okay.

Dave
Yeah.

Andy
Alright.

Dave
Crazy.

Andy
Well, thanks again for joining today, brother. Today we’re going to talk about involving your kids in your own personal outreach. So there’s a danger when we talk about family discipleship to make everything about parents ministering to, teaching the gospel to their kids, right? We don’t want to give our kids the idea that the gospel terminates on them. We don’t just want our kids to be disciples of Jesus, we want them to be disciple makers for Jesus. So the first question I want to ask is why? Why should we intentionally think, not just about passing the gospel onto them, but going ahead and infusing a passion for sharing with others to our kids, even when they’re young?

Dave
Yeah. Well I think one of the key things there is we want to make disciples, first out of our children, but we want to make disciples that make disciples that make disciples that make disciples and that plant churches, and so I think even for the gospel to reach the next generation, it’s not going to be just up to the parents. I think that the kids are going to have friends that the parents don’t know at school.

Andy
That don’t have believing parents.

Dave
They don’t have believe your parents, that’s right. Then they’re going to have jobs, they’re going to grow. I mean, so I think cultivating that at a young age, that that’s normal Christian living.

Andy
The first thing Jesus says in the gospel of Mark is, “Follow me. I’ll make you fishers of men.”

Dave
Yep. That’s it.

Andy
Yeah.

Dave
And so I think you’ve got to … I think historically … so sometimes in the church in the last maybe 20-30 years has kind of taken evangelism as a program. Maybe those that can really do it well, they go do it and then everybody else just do a Bible study, and I think we need to teach a new generation that sharing your faith is a part of the normal Christian life. It’s not necessarily just a gift. I think the gift is sort of the … in Ephesians 4, the evangelist that God gives to a people that he then equips and encourages everyone to do evangelism.

Andy
Sure.

Dave
Right, as opposed to…

Andy
He leads the way.

Dave
He leads the way, as opposed to, “I don’t have the gift of evangelism, so I don’t have to do it.” No, I don’t think that’s biblical. I think we need to really encourage them, and I think if we do it in a way that it’s, “Hey, this is normal. It’s hard. It is hard. I struggle with it, but this is what Christ wants us to do, and he’s worth it, to be able to tell and to share.”

Andy
I think that’s one of the key things, is that when our kids see, okay, this message about a God becoming a man, dying on a cross for his enemies, rising from the dead and offering forgiveness and everlasting life to anyone who will repent of sin and trust in him, this isn’t just a message we are pushing on our kids. When they see us glad heartedly, lovingly, earnestly sharing it with others, it demonstrates to them, “No, this really is at the center of my mom and dad’s life and thought and affection. They really love this Jesus and they can’t stop talking about it.” So I think in a sense, we, with our actions, show the worth of God and the supremacy of Christ, when our kids see it shared with others.

Dave
That’s right.

Andy
Okay. So how? That’s really what I want us to talk about, is what are some ways that we can involve our kids in our outreach, right? Because when you involve your kids in things, especially when it’s early on and they haven’t learned how to do things, it’s often not more efficient, it’s less efficient. It’s messier, it’s harder, but that’s a part of training, right?

Dave
That’s right.

Andy
So what are some ideas for how we can kind of pull our kids in and we can be on mission together as a family?

Dave
Yeah. Great question, Andy. I think the first thing that we’ve got to do is we’ve got to include our kids in praying for those who don’t know Christ.

Andy
First step.

Dave
I think we used to instill, to some degree, our kids are old enough to go on mission trips now, but we used to have a globe and we would spin it and we would pray for nations. We would use certain resources to pray for the nations, but then we would start … we also would pray for our neighbors by name. A couple of things we do in our neighborhood, if anyone moves in, we try to be the first ones there that take them a big old basket of welcome, that has some great harvest, fresh, the best bread, and then we try to actually make a list of the neighbors around those new neighbors so they know the names, just as a way to serve…

Andy
That’s great.

Dave
…those neighbors, and then we try to … sort of the motto in our house is we try to invite them to our home before we invite them to our church, and so we are trying to have them either at a cookout on the back deck or at the table, if COVID…

Andy
Yeah.

Dave
Right, but prayer is huge, and Colossians 4 has really informed us, and it says to devote yourself for prayer, and I love the way he says it, and this is what we’re trying to teach our children is Paul says … he’s writing to the church at Colossae. He says, “To pray to God …” again, remember Paul’s in prison, and so I’m expecting Paul to tell the people at this place, Colossae, to pray for him to have an open door of the jailhouse, to get out. Like that’s what I’m thinking he’s going to pray. And he doesn’t, he says, “Pray the guy would open a door for the mysteries of the gospel, for the incredible story of Christ and who he is and what he’s done,” for that door to be open while he’s in a jail, right? And so we’re just praying … we’re trying to teach our kids … there’s three things. We say pray for opportunities, that God would give us opportunities, unique opportunities, and he does it, and we also pray for boldness, not arrogance, but boldness, that we would believe this in such a way that we would be moved at any cost to sacrifice being liked or whatever, to be able to engage in a gospel conversation, and then we pray for wisdom, that we would have a speech that’s graceful, but salty, and that we would really navigate with wisdom the conversation that could be spiritual at first, and then it could get to a gospel presentation. So we don’t try to share the gospel the first time we have the neighbors over. We’re just trying to build and have some spiritual conversations, possibly. Right now, COVID, everyone’s kind of talking about life and death and it’s hard, and so we’re trying to capitalize on that, but the first thing for our kids, we’re trying to teach them to pray by name with specificity, that God would actually rescue, redeem.

Andy
One of the pneumonics we use for praying for lost people is open. Open doors for the word, like in Colossians 4, for open mouths, that’s our mouths, that God would help us to open our mouth and speak, and open hearts, that he would open hearts to give heed to the message of the gospel.

Dave
So good.

Andy
So prayer. What else?

Dave
Yeah. I think getting into…

Andy
You mentioned hospitality, having people over to your home.

Dave
I think that’s huge. I just think the gospel really spread in the first century. It’s really interesting, when you think about the Roman empire of how the gospel moved. The Christians were so hospitable and having folks to the table, engaging in conversations about Jesus, that the Christians in the early church and the Roman Empire were considered atheist because they didn’t believe in all the other gods. It’s kind of interesting, and it’s fascinating that the emperor and those other leaders wanted the leaders of all the false gods to try to train those who didn’t believe in Christ in hospitality, because they just couldn’t…

Andy
They couldn’t keep up.

Dave
They couldn’t keep up, yeah.

Andy
Yeah.

Dave
And so I think it’s really … there’s some great resources out there. Rosaria Butterfield has written some stuff on hospitality…

Andy
The Gospel Comes With a House Key.

Dave
Yep, The Gospel Comes With a House Key, and so just being able to really be … and let me say this. With our kids, we try to be the house in the neighborhood … and I don’t mean the big house, the nice house. I’m just saying the house where the kids wanted to be. So we budgeted a little bit. We expanded the driveway. We put the basketball goal in the front yard. We got two rabbits. So everybody wants to come feed the rabbits. Budget, try to get a trampoline. All the kids come over. We just want to be the party house in one sense, where we just build trust, excitement, fun, joy, and just be that house in the neighborhood that’s hopefully shining brightly to where love and joy would be in such a way that people would come and ask, maybe, about the hope that we have.

Andy
That’s great. I think hospitality, sitting around the table with people is probably one of the most overlooked opportunities we have to engage people in meaningful conversation, and I love when you were talking about boldness earlier. I don’t remember the word you used, but a brother challenged me one time. Boldness is not the same as brashness, right? We can speak the truth with clarity and confidence and boldness, but with a tender and gentle heart and in a really winsome and loving way that can communicate to this person, “I’m sharing this with you because I care for you. I love you.” So other just arenas of life, whether it’s sports or school or any other just things that you guys have done as a family, especially you and Julie, to kind of model taking advantage of opportunities for the sake of demonstrating…

Dave
Yeah. I think any activities outside of the home. Our kids are into volleyball and basketball and golf and certain sports, and so we’re trying to say, “These are all platforms. These are all platforms to engage your teammates.” We’ve had opportunity to lead some of their teammates to Christ, be a part of that in that gospel conversation. We try to be the parent, if it works out in our schedule, to drive the team to and fro to games, and so we’ll just open up the gospel in the car. You got a carload of four or five teenagers. If you can get their headphones off for a second and just to be able to say, “Hey, what do y’all think about this?” And dive into it, and so any of those opportunities. The party at the end of the year for the team, we try to host that, just try to be … it takes some sacrifice sometimes to … you have to be intentional, you have to plan, but I think if you are with those things, God opens doors. He opens doors and opens opportunities, and just I think one thing I could say real quick, Andy, is it’s a slow process to be patient with especially training your kids and then engaging with your neighbors. Some of our neighbors that have come to Christ, it was a year long, two, three years of…

Andy
Investment.

Dave
Investment, of dinners and cookouts and trust, and prayer covered all of it.

Andy
Amen.

Dave
And so it’s not they move in and two weeks later … I mean, no. It takes time.

Andy
That’s great, man. Well brother, thank you so much for just sitting down and helping us think through ways to model a life of living on mission for the glory of God before our kids and training them by living it out before them. Thankful for you.

Dave
Thanks for having me.

Andy
Yeah, and thank you for joining this episode. Hope to see you soon on the next episode.

Outro
Thanks for listening to this episode of the “Gospel Shaped Home” podcast, produced by Providence Baptist Church of Raleigh, North Carolina. For more information and resources from Providence, visit us online at pray.org. If you enjoyed today’s episode, please consider subscribing and leaving a review on Apple Podcasts.