1. WHO IS YOUR FAMILY (OIKOS)?
Although God does want us to share the Gospel with everyone, there is a special group of people with whom the Lord especially wants us to share our story, your oikos, Oikos is the Greek word for your family and sphere of influence. These people know you and respect you. Your word and testimony of your changed life carries a lot more weight with them than it does with a stranger.
When Jesus told his disciples to look for a person of peace in Luke 10:1-5. It was a brilliant idea that has been lost on the modern traditional church which often wants people saved inside the walls of the church building. Fortunately the booming global house churches and DMM movements in the rest of the world where it is difficult to have a building has grabbed the idea of centering the church community around families. These churches are growing fast.
The person of peace of Luke 10 is special. They will open the door for the Gospel to their whole household, and then to their wider sphere of influence, their extended family and their village or friends. Interestingly in West Africa almost one third of all persons of peace are former Imams who are utterly frustrated with Islam! Many have had a dream or vision and are waiting to have it explained by a follower of Jesus. Many are sick and tired of a religion that does not offer peace to their heart. Whatever the cause, these people are ready to hear your message.
The best way for a DMM to grow is through the natural relational branches of peoples family and networks, not through institutional outreach. Growth is much more rapid and long lasting when it happens along family lines. It gets into the heart of family culture, village culture and community culture. It changes them from the inside out. The Samaritan woman at the well is a classic example of a village changing from the inside out.
2. SAVED FAMILIES IN SCRIPTURE
Below are some examples of when God saved one person and then used that person to save their family and friends.
- Genesis 6:17-18: God saved not just Noah but his whole family.
- Genesis 19: 12-16: God saved Lot and his family along with him.
- Joshua 6:17-25: Rahab in Jericho, along with her family.
- Mark 5: The Gadarene demoniac (especially verses 18-20)
- John 4:7-42: The Samaritan woman (especially verse 39)
- Acts 2:38-39: The promise is for them and their children.
- Act 16:14-15: Lydia and her household
- Acts 16:27-34: Philippian jailer and his whole family.
- Acts 18: 8: Crispus and his household.
- Acts 10: Cornelius along with his family and friends (see verse 24). See Peter’s report of the event in Acts 11, especially verse 14.
Questions to consider
What do these scriptures teach us about how God works?
How do they challenge and speak to you?
How can you use these lessons to advance the Kingdom?
Why do you think God use whole families?
How does a changed life speak to that persons closest kin?
3. SOME PRINCIPLES TO FOLLOW
Make your family a deliberate target for prayer and sowing Gospel seeds.
Spend time listing each family member and praying for them daily
Make plans to speak to them about Jesus, don’t just let relationships travel along
Create an oikos map of your extended family and pray for them.
From that map make a list you feel the Holy Spirit is asking you to share Jesus with.
The more seeds you sow the more the Gospel grows.
Everyone has an “uncle grumpy” that they are afraid to share the Gospel with. How do we share with them? Let the Holy Spirit tell you.
- Make an oikos map of those to whom God wants you to tell your story.
- Pray, asking which 5 persons God wants you to tell your testimony story to this week.
- Circle the names of those five persons.
- Make a timeline of when you will share your testimony with them and offer to pray with them. The Three Circles evangelism tool is a great way to introduce them to the Gospel. More on that in a later lesson.