There are several passages that teach this. In Mark chapter 5 we have the wonderful account of Jesus casting out a legion of demons from a poor man living in “the country of the Gadarenes” (verse 1). In verses 18-20 we read, “As He (Jesus) was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed was imploring Him that he might accompany Him. And He did not let him, but He said to him, ‘GO HOME TO YOUR PEOPLE and report to them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He had mercy on you.’ And he went away and began to proclaim in Decapolis what great things Jesus had done for him, and everyone was amazed” (NASB). Here we are clearly taught that our “ministry starts at home.” Why is this? Ah, because our family and friends know what our life was like BEFORE the Lord Jesus saved us and we need to show them the new life that we have received by the mercy of God. We read that this man obeyed the Lord and went home to Decapolis (an area consisting of TEN cities) and his transformed life was such a testimony to those who knew him that they were amazed.

The fact is it should be our natural desire to see our loved ones (especially our immediate family) saved and thus our “evangelism begins at home.” A good example of this is seen in John 1:40-42, “One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him (Jesus), was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He FIRST FOUND HIS OWN BROTHER SIMON, and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (which is translated, the Christ). And HE BROUGHT HIM TO JESUS” (NKJV). As soon as Andrew had come to know Jesus as His Messiah, he immediately thought of his brother Simon and “he brought him to Jesus.” Has this been the experience of all my dear brothers and sisters in Christ who have unsaved family members? If not, I would encourage you to “Go home to your people and report to them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He had mercy on you.”

As your question rightly states, our ministry starts at home and “then goes out to other people.” Shortly before the Lord Jesus ascended back to heaven He told His disciples these words, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and IN ALL JUDEA AND SAMARIA, AND TO THE END OF THE EARTH.” His disciples would, as we have seen, begin witnessing of Jesus AT HOME (in JERUSALEM and JUDEA), but after canvassing these areas with the gospel they would branch out to SAMARIA (a place with a “half-breed population with whom the Jews had no dealings”) and to THE END OF THE EARTH. This “great commission” to go to “the end of the earth” goes along with what Jesus said in Mark 16:15, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” As we read through the book of Acts we see that the disciples were slow to respond to this; in fact, it took a time of severe persecution to get them going. “At that time (the time of Stephen’s martyrdom) a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria….therefore those who were scattered WENT EVERYWHERE PREACHING THE WORD” (8:1 & 4). We read further of them in Acts 11:19, “Now those who were scattered after the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch.”

When Saul of Tarsus was saved (see Acts 9:1-9), the Lord told a man named Ananias, “Go, for he (Saul) is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel” (verse15). Saul would witness to his fellow-countrymen, but he was especially called by God to “go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” Saul (who later was named Paul) ended up going on three missionary journeys (which begins in Acts chapter 13) throughout the world, and his desire was always “to preach IN THE REGIONS BEYOND” (2nd Corinthians 10:16). (341.3) (DO)