Focal Passage: John 1:29, 35-46, 49-51
Witnessing is not optional. Jesus commanded, “Go, therefore,
and make disciples” (Matt. 28:19). So, when someone says, “I’m not gifted in
evangelism; I just let my life be my witness,” I insist, “But lives can’t
speak; lips speak; and on my best day, my life doesn’t measure up to Christ’s.
Yet Jesus left winning the world to you and me.” Christ’s earliest disciples
began their ministry by witnessing to their families and close friends. For
example, Andrew brought Peter to Christ (John 1:40-41), and Philip reached
Nathanael (v. 45-46).
My witnessing notebook includes a page titled, “Family
Evangelism.” It’s a graphic of concentric circles. In the center circle is my
name. Am I saved? Yes. In the next circle labeled “My Nuclear Family,” are
names of my husband, our daughters, their husbands and children. Are they all
in Christ? Yes.
The next circle is labeled, “Close relatives.” Are they all
saved? I confess that I don’t know. How can I share Christ without offending
them? To one relative, I wrote a letter saying, “You and I have enjoyed many
wonderful times together, and I want us to share heaven, too; so I’m writing to
tell you about the most important thing in my life — my relationship to Christ.”
Then I shared my testimony and invited him to receive
Christ, using the booklet, “Have You Heard of the Four Spiritual Laws?” He
accepted Christ, and later became a deacon in his church. In the next
concentric circle I write names of “Friends and Acquaintances.” To witness to
them, I turn something they say into a spiritual conversation. I might say, “That
reminds me of a question I heard a minister raise. He asked the person if they
were to die tonight, how would they respond to God asking why they should be
allowed in heaven.” How would you respond?
Many answer, “I don’t know,” but however they respond, I
say, “I’m glad I asked because I have good news.”
Then, I share Christ and invite them to receive Him. Family
evangelism worked in the start of Jesus’ ministry, and it works today.
Jesus never commanded the world to come to church; instead,
He commanded the church to go to the world. He didn’t ask the world to “come
and hear;” He commanded the church to “Go and Tell.”
So, let’s go, remembering that successful witnessing is
sharing Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit and leaving the results to God.