Fifty Days of Pentecost Devotional Series — Saturday, May 8

Our study this week has looked at the biblical account of Philip and his family. We also used the testimony of Emmanuel Navarro (from Colombia) to illustrate the way that Philip ministered. Philip had four daughters who were also involved in ministry.

What is “Relational Evangelism” and do both Philip and Emmanuel illustrate that principle? Philip’s Christian testimony effected his family in a positive way. No doubt he raised his four daughters to follow Jesus. It began with a positive and healthy relationship. The ability to establish and maintain healthy relationships is in-and-of-itself a Christian testimony. The Bible clearly teaches the principles of health and well-being in our interaction with others.

We live in a world full of family and social dysfunction. Christian values should counteract and speak to those who are trapped in abuse and unhealthy relations. They coexist but do not truly relate.

Emmanuel lives in a one-parent family. He also lives with his grandmother. He has attended a ChildHope school for six years. He has absorbed and reflects Christian values in school and carries them back home. He has had a positive influence on his mother and grandmother.

Emmanuel’s testimony of faith, developed at his ChildHope school, led his family to commit their lives to Christ.

How do we move from relationships to ministry?

Our first step toward ministry is the establishment of a healthy relationship with those God has put close to us. We should consider healthy relationships a pre-requisite to ministry. Ministry should naturally flow out of that friendship. And we should not consider a relationship as a means to an end — rather it is an end in itself.

When Paul and his missionary team arrived in Palestine after his second missionary journey, they chose to stay several days with Philip and his daughters. Paul knew what awaited him in Jerusalem. He drew on the strength of that family unit. 

How does the Spirit flow in our relationship?

I have often heard that “The Holy Spirit is a gentleman (or gentleperson).” That means that He waits for an invitation. He does not impose His will upon us. He waits so we can do things in the right order. Spiritual movement (and our spirituality) reflects and is strengthened because of our involvement with others and with God. Interaction with others (in a healthy way) is a spiritual activity. In so many families of our students in ChildHope schools, we observe children ignored by their families. Some are abused. Learning how to relate to others in the right way is part of the fruit of our ministry. Thank you all for being a part of the ChildHope family.

Mike Lawrence
ChildHope Country Coordinator, Colombia

See other devotionals in this series.

Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.