Home Outreach Leaders Articles for Outreach & Missions Outreach: Why Won't My Family Listen?

Outreach: Why Won't My Family Listen?

Each family presents a totally different situation in which to discuss spiritual things. Some families freely discuss everything and can talk about something as intimate as a person’s relationship to God. Other families have never experienced that closeness.

Many things influence witnessing to your relatives: closeness of the family, intimidation of a family member, freedom to communicate, past failures, and the believer’s ability to explain salvation clearly. If you don’t recognize that each family is different, you can become too self-critical and ask why it works for others and not for you.

To avoid feeling defeated in these situations, it’s important to remember that only God can bring people to Himself. We are just the ones He uses. John 6:44 reminds us, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him.” Don’t take on your shoulders the responsibility that is on His.

Ask God to soften hearts, provide an openness to talk about spiritual things, show them their need, and give you opportunities. Remember, God prepares hearts and can get through when we can’t.

You might also ask God to send someone in addition to you to speak to them. Often, someone outside can be more effective.

And don’t forget that God can use your written witness, too. Open your heart to them in a letter. Thank them for the ways they’ve helped you. Explain why it is hard for you to share your faith with them and why you are so concerned about them. Carefully spell out what it means to trust Christ alone for salvation. The advantage of a letter is that they can read it more than once.

God has not given up on your family. Be careful that you don’t either.

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Dr. R. Larry Moyer is a veteran evangelist and a frequent speaker in evangelistic outreaches, training seminars, churches and universities around the world. Born with an inherited speech defect, Larry vowed to God as a teenager that if He would allow him to gain control of his speech he would always use his voice to declare the gospel. In 1973, Larry founded EvanTell, where he now serves as President and CEO. He has written several books on evangelism and frequently contributes articles to ministry publications.