Witnessing By Church Members
Witnessing is called for by Jesus
It should be clear from these cited statements by Jesus and His disciples that He expected His disciples to “witness” about His saving sacrifice for the sins of humans by His crucifixion on a cross and His amazing resurrection from His deadly entombment in a borrowed tomb. See John 15:26-27 where Jesus indicates that the “Spirit will bear witness about me” and “you also will bear witness”, and an Angel indicates that “when the Spirit has come upon” them that they “will be my witnesses” in Acts 1:8, and Peter indicates in his sermon to the crowd on the day of Pentecost when he and the disciples received the Spirit that “we are all witnesses” in Acts 2:32. You should be able to see from the context of these passages of Scripture that personal witnessing about Jesus would be a very important part of each person’s life as a disciple, a committed student, of Jesus that would not just be limited to the particular role of being a pastor of a congregation of disciples for which God would call some of His servants to become evangelists for the proclamation of His saving grace and transforming power through Jesus and His Spirit in the lives of His disciples. All church members who consider themselves to be committed disciples of Jesus should understand that Jesus is calling them to be His “witnesses” in their lives in their families and neighborhoods where they live.
The nature of such witnessing
Such witnessing about Jesus is the clear sharing of one’s personal testimony regarding what God has done and is doing through Jesus and the Spirit in the church member’s personal life. It does not have to be a complete recitation of a set of passages of Scripture that cite God’s will and instructed personal steps for the acceptance of His personal calling to repent of one’s personal sins and to trust God to surrender to His particular will in one’s life. It does not have to be a clear and complete statement of one’s faith in God that would be so composed as to eliminate any possible critical questions or comments from one’s personal contact. A church member’s clear and sincere testimony regarding what God has done and is doing in his or her life should be beyond debate or criticism. See John 9:1-41 for the experience that “a man blind from birth” had about his experience of healing by Jesus and his testimony regarding Jesus and the miracle that He had performed on his eyes that he and his parents shared with the Pharisees who were very critical of his testimony.
Witnessing can be evangelistic
The sincere sharing of a church member’s personal witness to the experience of God’s forgiving grace and transforming power in his or her life can be an evangelistic message. It can introduce an interested contact to Jesus in a personal conversational way without making judgmental comments and appearing to lecture the other person about his or her sins. Such a testimony regarding the difference that surrendering one’s selfish will to the grace and wise guidance of God’s Spirit makes in the life of a committed church member can encourage a receptive individual to trust God with his or her life by accepting Jesus as their personal savior and Lord. When a sinner recognizes what a difference a trusting relationship with God can make in his or her daily life, the decision to repent and to accept Jesus as Lord will be effectively implemented by the personal calling of God’s Spirit in the sinner’s heart and mind and he or she will become “a new creation” (1 Cor. 5:17) in Christ Jesus. This is the objective for witnessing that Jesus sought in His teaching to His disciples. If you would like to learn more details about this ministry, I invite you to check out this Bible study on my website: “Being An Enthusiastic Witness To God’s Grace In Jesus Christ” at “What’s Next?”. The Spirit is the teacher for this study, so you won’t need a physical teacher to lead you through it.
Scripture quotations are from the ESV Study Bible English Standard Version (ESV®), copyright © 2008 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved.