Challenges families face when ministering to the unreached

November 12, 2018

Pursuing unreached peoples with the gospel as a family requires simple obedience that leads to a life of kingdom service.

As we commit to “become all things” to unreached peoples living near us, we expose virtually every aspect of our lives.

Marital peace, behavioral expectations, social acceptance, financial stability and time management are open to constant and random disruptions. Facing these challenges by faith requires understanding the life of a harvest laborer, properly valuing the family and worshiping Jesus.

Understanding the life of the laborer
Laboring in the harvest field of unreached peoples is not a career — it is a calling that requires sacrifice.

Jesus bluntly describes obedience to Him as carrying crosses through death and to victory (Luke 14:27). When we obey Christ by beginning to love, pray for and share the gospel with strangers from other lands, ethnicities and languages, we begin a life of loss.

We lose dreams of popularity, health, property, retirement, personal space, personal time and self-satisfaction. Married couples lose time with each other due to travel and disciple-making opportunities. Children lose health, friends and comfort as the family moves to be closer to the people group they are ministering to. The entire family is exposed to the suffering of the lost, and we often join in that suffering.

Yet Jesus taught that if a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it bears much fruit (John 12:24). The further we progress in this life of losing, the more we see God’s Word changing lives, the more happiness we feel in how He is with us in our loss and the more we trust His control over our family.

Properly valuing family
The same Lord who calls us to this life of sacrifice describes our place in the kingdom and our relationship to God in familial terms. Our spouses and children are worthy of care, not neglect.

As we embrace our families as a gift from God while working among the unreached, Jesus stretches our knowledge of His love. Birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, funerals, sick days, growing pains and emotional crises may arise when an unreached family is coming for dinner, one parent is travelling overseas or friends have an immediate need.

While we strive for nurture and discipline, sacrifices made in service to others remind us how much every soul is worth to King Jesus. It also reveals the strength of Christ’s love that can nurture both our biological families and the children He is adopting from all the nations.

Worshiping Jesus
In Scripture, Jesus spoke of prizing Him to the extent that love for the family would look like hatred in comparison (Luke 14:26). The sacrificial life of the laborer among the unreached often leads to choices that appear reckless but are driven by simple love for Jesus.

Laborers for Jesus often trade dreams of success for a vision that the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord.  We give up the desire for prosperity for the desire that none would perish and all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:5).

We make the crazy decision to guide our family into a life of loss because Jesus did the seemingly crazy thing of dying and coming back. When our whole family sinks in exhaustion, we can rest in a Savior who is so strong that He took away the sins of the world. We get up knowing that the world lives next door to us and needs to know the Savior’s name.


by Liz C.  
/  Contributing Writer

4 steps to engage your community

During the process of reaching the community around us, we must each move from thinking like a missionary to engaging like one. While it can be intimidating to make the transition from theory and strategy to actually entering the lives of people, it is well worth it. To make this...

7 healthy partnership habits for churches

I spent the majority of my young professional career watching corporations create and expand partnerships. The world of business understands the power of collaboration. I witnessed firsthand the power built around landing new business partners and seeking corporate mergers or...

3 hurdles in sharing the gospel

In the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil, Haitian hurdler Jeffrey Julmis shot out of the blocks quickly, only to hit the first hurdle and fall to the ground. While certainly embarrassed, Julmis could have easily walked off without completing the race. Instead, he got up and...

Living in response to the gospel

Thinking like a missionary is a reasonable service proposition (Romans 12:1). It isn’t extreme in light of what Christ has done for us. Following Jesus might seem radical or extreme at the outset, but once the initial step has been made the missionary mindset follows naturally....

3 Circles: A guide for a five-touch, follow-up discovery Bible study with unbelievers

In Acts 17, Paul communicates the gospel in a contextually appropriate way and the response is pretty typical: some mock, some believe and join with other disciples, and some want to hear more (Acts 17:32-34). My experience has been that many fruitful disciples come from this...

3 Circles: A versatile tool for ministering the gospel to a variety of cultural contexts

The 3 Circles is a versatile tool to communicate the gospel in a variety of cultural contexts. The reason for its inherent flexibility is due to a variety of factors. To begin with, it’s a framework, not a method. Previously, many Western evangelistic trainings taught step-by-step...

God is bringing the nations

In recent years, God has been using the growing globalization of the world to generate a higher rate of immigration to North America. People of all ethnic backgrounds are migrating away from their home countries seeking asylum, refuge, education or a better life in the Western...

American patriotism and the kingdom of God

“And the Rockets’ red glare, the Bombs bursting in air, Gave proof through the night that our Flag was still there...” These words from Francis Scott Key were inspired by what he saw, following the attack on Fort McHenry, in the war of 1812. He finishes all four stanzas of his...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get the latest news and event information by signing up for the N.C. Baptist newsletter.

Select Language ^

Share This

Share this with your friends!