Evangelising through relationships: - Pastor firm on the importance of the family
Contrary to the author of The Storm-Tossed Family: How the Cross Reshapes the Home, Russell Moore's position that the family is a blessing but only if the institution is secondary to church, Minister Nicholas Robertson is of the view that more attention needs to be placed on the unit and relationships on a whole.
In fact, Robertson told Family & Religion that if a person's ministry among his family is weak, then chances are the ministry will also be ineffective outside the home, including at the church.
"Many persons find it hard to evangelise outside because they can't do so at home. They can't tell a family member about Jesus because of their lifestyle," he said, as he emphasised the need to be able to minister to those closest to you by being an example of godliness.
Defending his initial argument that the church should put more emphasis on intimate relationships, Robertson stated his observation that great preachers have lost their families because of ministry, which shouldn't be the case.
Marriage is a ministry
"Marriage, in itself is a ministry. Praying and supporting each other, learning to forgive each other is very crucial. These are the people who know the most about us, so our greatest ministry is at home being a Christian before each other and our children. Once that is accomplished, the rest becomes easy."
The preacher spoke about his relationship with his wife, noting that they are each other's biggest fans when it comes on to spreading the word.
He shared that she would commend him on a word well-delivered and make suggestions where necessary, and vice versa.
According to him: "We believe in evangelism, however, we believe that relationship is key to an effective evangelist, in that, the more people trust you, the more likely they are to be open to you and the more you will be able to impact them.
Friends and Families
"When the Bible said, 'go into all the world and preach', your friends and families are a part of that world."
Robertson, who on behalf of the Higher Dimensions Church of God in Florida, USA, co-hosts a radio programme called, 'Praise to the Highest Power', revealed that some churches fail to win over an entire family because little emphasis is placed on the relevance of evangelising through relationships.
"People tend to listen to you more if you have a relationship with them, so you find that there's been a significant decline in the number of persons getting saved in crusades in comparison to those getting saved through relationships, or by example of the life being lived by a family member," he said.
The father of two added that he and his wife endeavour to make a strong family through love, trust and respect, so that their children will in turn continue the legacy long after they are gone.