The holidays are upon us and that means chances are good you’ll have an opportunity to talk about your faith with some people you might find intimidating: your family. In a recent episode of “Way of the Master,” Kirk Cameron shared his thoughts on how to share the gospel with the people closest to you.
“I think for me, living the kind of life that demonstrates the blessing and the protection that comes with knowing Christ, I’m hoping is attractive to them,” said Cameron, noting that witnessing to family members is “a challenging thing to do.”
Kirk Cameron on How to Share the Gospel with Family
A ministry of Living Waters, “Way of the Master” is a talk show co-hosted by Ray Comfort, Mark Spence and Emeal (“E.Z.”) Zwayne. A guest on the show, Cameron said that a verse that comes to mind on this topic is 1 Peter 3:1, which talks about how wives can influence their husbands by their behavior, rather than their words. Cameron (who grew up in an atheist family) said, “I think there’s a principle there that would carry in to other family members as well.”
It’s not just the people you’re related to that are a challenge, of course. Cameron said he faced a similar difficulty with the cast of Growing Pains: “It was much more awkward to talk with them than it was to talk with complete strangers.” In Cameron’s opinion, doing open-air preaching like Ray Comfort does is “infinitely easier than talking to people that you really, really care about.”
By emphasizing the importance of actions, Cameron was not discounting the need to use words to tell people about Christ. But he observed that at a certain point, “they know what I’m about.” His family knows what he believes from talking to him, from watching his YouTube videos, and so on. “I don’t think they need to hear that much more from me because I’ve already given them an earful,” he said. “And I think now it’s about who you are, more than what you say.”
Ray Comfort followed up on Cameron’s words, stressing that it is important to explain the gospel to people at some point. While some Christians err on one extreme by talking about their faith so much people feel nagged, other Christians think that simply living the gospel will be enough.
Comfort recounted a conversation he’d had with a man who said his strategy was living his faith and waiting for people to come to him with questions. Comfort asked him, “How many times has that happened in the last year?” The man answered, “Actually, it hasn’t.” Said Comfort, “And it doesn’t! That’s why we have to go.” But, he acknowledged, “It is different with family, absolutely different. You have to have the fruits.”
And that is why, when considering how to share the gospel, a crucial aspect of witnessing to family members is being a person of integrity. “People have an expectation of what Christians really should be,” said Zwayne. “Obviously the expectations are in some ways unrealistic because they think we’re supposed to be perfect, without ever erring. But they do know the difference between hypocrisy and a life of uprightness.”