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The Greatest Untapped Evangelistic Opportunity Before the Modern Church

Contact: Tyler Dorin, National Center for Family-Integrated Churches (NCFIC), 515-250-6491, tdorin@ncfic.org 

WAKE FOREST, N.C., May 9, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- A pastor from North Carolina suggests that modern missions may be overlooking a vast mission field that's right at our feet. Scott T. Brown, a long-time advocate for church and family reformation, maintains, "There are many mission fields, but the family presents what may be the greatest untapped evangelistic opportunity before the Church today. What is at stake is the salvation of millions of children under the evangelistic and discipleship ministry of fathers and mothers in the home. This is not the only mission field to be sure, but it is perhaps the most neglected mission field before the Church in our time."

Scott T. Brown is director of the National Center for Family-Integrated Churches (NCFIC), an organization dedicated to proclaiming the sufficiency of Scripture for church and family life. In 2012, the NCFIC's theme message is evangelism and the Great Commission. This will climax in a mega-conference called White Unto Harvest, pulling in over 40 speakers from around the world.

Mission efforts, in their opinion, should form an integral part in the family. "The Bible calls fathers to preach the gospel to their children everyday," says Brown, "when they 'sit in (their) house, when (they) walk by the way, when (they) lie down, and when (they) rise up' (Deut. 6:7, NKJV). A father is to pass on the knowledge of God to the next generation. He is commanded to expose his children day by day to the greatness of God, the perfections of His ways, and the great stories that explain His nature and character. This kind of instruction gives children a true understanding of the gospel. There is a great evangelistic impact that fathers have in this generation if they would only heed this command."

Back in 2009, Barna Group reported on the confused and possibly lost state of many so-called Christians: "Labeled 'born again Christians,' the study discovered that they were twice as likely as the average adult to possess a biblical worldview. However, that meant that even among born again Christians, less than one out of every five (19%) had such an outlook on life."

There have been many reports about the growing apostasy in church youth. At the end of 2011, CNN reported, "Young adult members (of evangelical churches) are abandoning church in significant numbers."

With such reports, Brown argues that one of the systemic problems is that fathers are not biblically discipling their children and declaring to them the gospel.

Brown comments, "God's Word declares and studies echo what this generation needs -- an uprising of men committed to discipling their children. While the Church in the twenty-first century is losing the next generation of children to the world, fathers need to be encouraged to return to the biblical role as the head of the household and to preach the gospel and make disciples of their children. Church leaders need to be encouraged to have the courage to cancel the programs which steal the father's creation-order role and put their energies into mobilizing them to fulfilling the clear commands of God.

"God's requirements for the evangelization of children are clear. Fathers are commanded to diligently teach their children and care for their souls day by day. The sad reality of father's lives in modern churches is that they are satisfied with Sunday schools and evangelistic crusades (which are never mentioned nor commanded in Scripture), but they reject God's direct and undeniable commands to personally teach their children daily. This is outright rebellion against the Lord.

"In order to rescue this lost generation of children in Christian homes from Hell, we must first help fathers understand what God has commanded and exhort them to embrace their responsibilities before the Lord. We must speak clearly of what God has mandated so that fathers do not miss the opportunity to touch the hearts of their sons and daughters with the message of the gospel."

As a father of four (three of whom are married) and a grandfather of seven, Brown gave an illustration of faithful fatherhood.

"Consider an example of a faithful father. He daily praises God to his children with hundreds of words and practical principles. Day after day, he cries out to them, explaining the stories that glorify the kindnesses of God, His wrath toward sinners, and His vanquishing power over all things. In so doing, he reflects the heart of the Heavenly Father who cries out, 'Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion' (Heb. 3:7-8, NKJV).

"His children observe their father as he personally delights in the Word and places himself under its wonderful teaching. They behold how good and mighty God is and how foolish it is to turn away from Him. They see how their daddy is comforted and confronted by the Word and is changed before their eyes.

"Under this kind of loving and happy ministry," Brown continues, "children hear the whole counsel of God from Genesis to Revelation. They see the flow of history from God's perspective. They hear of the great doctrines of the faith, which have sustained humble people from one generation to the next. They observe the mighty hand of God working against all human odds. They see the beginning and the end of history and where they themselves stand in its stream. They know who wins the battle. They know that nothing can stand against the will of our sovereign Lord.

"The great Messianic prophesy of Psalm 22 shows how God brings the glory of salvation from one generation to the next through those who take seriously the charge to teach their children:

'A posterity shall serve Him. It will be recounted of the Lord to the next generation, They will come and declare His righteousness to a people who will be born that He has done this' (Ps. 22:30-31, NKJV).

"We must pray that fathers would not miss the greatest untapped evangelistic opportunity before the Church today. Let it be said of this generation of fathers that they did their part to fulfill the Great Commission. May fathers preach the fullness of the gospel to their households daily as the Bible commands, and give their children a thousand reasons to believe."

To interview NCFIC director Scott T. Brown and/or to receive a preview copy of the movie Divided, the book A Weed in the Church, and press materials, media should contact Tyler Dorin: 515-250-6491, tdorin@ncfic.org.