Matthew Spriggs is an elder in one the TCH churches in Loughborough – a theologian, practitioner, church planter, teacher, and all round good bloke!

He commented on my previous post, but I thought it’d be much more useful to give the comment a post of its own as it’s very helpful… so here it is:

“Thanks for raising that helpful discussion. In Titus, it is clear that the church’s most effective presentation of the gospel is it’s ordered lives (Titus 2:11-14). The self controlled upright living that is talked about is in reference to the family orientated relationships stated in the preceding verses. That being the case, my family is key in my gospel effectiveness and can’t be left behind, but must be brought with me, as we can only do mission together.

The hard bit to realise is that in order to take the gospel to a particular people group, I need to take my family with me. And that is when the hard practicalities kick in. But titus encourages us that all the upheaval of moving kids around, taking them on pastoral visits, are exactly the kind of good works that Christ redeemed us and purified us to do (v14). A small example of this is my wife recently took our 3 kids and a prostitute to local doctor’s appointment in the middle of afternoon sleep time. It demonstrated trust and a sense of welcome that she was prepared to open the family up to a relationship with this girl, and at the same time it provides opportunity to expose our children to the real world in a gospel framework.

But then comes another question. Should we drag our ‘not yet Christian’ children into that? Do I have a responsibility to do mission to my children first before placing them in a missional context towards others? I was asked this recently, and I think Michael you answered it really well. As we disciple our children, we do so by calling them to the way of the cross. This exposes their idols, but also gives them a rich picture of what Jesus did for us in abundance. I want to bring up my kids in the way of the cross, suffering now and glory later. In this context we’re thrown into prayer and dependence on God. But what better opportunity can we get to live and speak the truths of the gospel to our children.”

Thank you Matt for this – it is very helpful.

In evangelism we are calling our children (and others) to follow the King – Jesus. As Matt says, to follow Jesus is to follow the way of the Cross. So to disciple our children by calling them to follow the way of the cross is to do evangelism… It is the same call and the same gospel.