The Call of the Christian
Compare it to the means by which pastors keep people’s faith alive to give tithes and offerings. How do we do it? We talk about it. Almost every single week, we allocate just a few minutes to give a scripture, tell a testimony, or give a quick teaching on Bible finances. And we do it with a purpose in mind – to cultivate people’s faith to obey God with their money…every week.
Why not do that same thing with our supreme gospel command and endeavor: the spreading of the good news?
Rather than reserve "sharing your faith" messages for the evangelism class, where only a handful of enthusiastic Christians will attend, and rather than a long drawn out "special" training series, evangelism burns only with consistent short bursts of reminders...from the pulpit. Slowly but surely, the tide of sharing Christ will rise within one person, and then the next. When church members hear consistent emphasis on sharing their faith, they will want to do it. When church members feel like personal evangelism is important to their pastor, they will eventually break through their fears and go for it.
Create an Exploit Testimony Time
Create a testimony time. Give an opportunity for people to testify – not of what God has done for them (that is fine, too) – but about what they have done for God. Encourage them to talk of their own exploits. If they don’t, we’ll never know how God might have used them. Almost every week in our church, either Sunday or Wednesday, we get people talking about the works they have done to spread the gospel. One stands up and says how they gave one of our CD messages to a friend. Another yells out how they led their sister-in-law to receive Christ over the phone. Another shares how they gave gospel tracts to everyone in line at the post office. Just within the past few months, one of our ladies, who’d been getting her “feet wet” sharing Christ, stood up to testify how her neighbor had a locked shoulder. And for her first time ever, she told him Jesus would heal him and asked if he wanted her to pray. She was shocked and scared to hear those words come out of her mouth. But he did and she did. And before she realized what she was doing, she grabbed his arm and pulled it up! He was totally healed and amazed! Several weeks later he received Jesus as Savior!
Many times, the testimony time is so electrifying that we almost don’t know what to do next. Of course, it’s a great launch into the preaching. But really, this is the gospel in action. This is what we live for. This is the fulfillment of the great commission – not through just the preacher – but through the believer – through our own church members!
The Early Church
I’ve always felt that this is what the early Church must have looked like when they came together. Rather than some strict ceremony being the focus, I believe the testimony time was one of the highlights. I imagine that they couldn’t wait to come to church to find out what happened that week with the gospel! “Hey, did you hear what happened with Peter and John at the Beautiful Gate of the temple…!?” “Listen to what I did on my street, I told three young men about Jesus and they received him immediately! So I took them to the river and baptized them like the apostles do it!” “What did you do?” “Well, I told the blacksmith of how Jesus was resurrected. And he just laughed at me.” “Glory to God! Hallelujah! You were persecuted in the name of Jesus! Man, great is your reward in heaven! Hey everyone, let’s rejoice with our brother here, he was persecuted!” “And now let’s expect even more boldness this next week….”
I’m not sure if church members testifying to one another about their exploits is the icing on the cake or the cake itself. But either way, it sure completes the cake! And so often it seems to be the missing element in our church service structure. Missionaries and preachers shouldn’t be the only one emphasizing their great gospel endeavors. It should be everyone!
Pastor, what you’ll find is that as sister Sally begins to share of her personal witnessing, brother Bob will eventually realize that if sister Sally can do it, I can do it. I have heard so many people testify of how long “they have been listening to others testify and how they finally got up the courage to do something themselves.” One man, who was actually an elder at a certain church, told me of how it took him six months of wanting to do something before he could speak to someone. He said, “I was leaving a restaurant and handed a guy a gospel tract, and said, God bless you, sir.” This elder was so proud of what he had done. And so was I. So what if it took him six months. At least he broke through some fear. It just takes a little time, and it won’t happen if we pastors don’t create a habit of talking about it.
Read it, use it, preach it, pass out copies of it to all your people. The Church needs this book. It can trigger true revival. If you want me to come preach it, I will. But whatever you do, get the cogs of soulwinning moving consistently in your church. Let’s do it for the Lord – we’ll be glad we did, as the “Well done thou good and faithful…” is the only greeting to strive for.
Called . . . with a holy, significant, supernatural assignment . . .
Jump into this inspiring expedition of knowing God and doing exploits, where Chas shares the heart of the Father regarding your assignment— so that you can answer heaven’s great trumpet call,
With refreshing and powerful revelation, you’ll find personal access to the power of the Holy Spirit and a compelling impulse for the motive behind that power. Once you accept this call, your part in turning the world upside down with the gospel will be clear. And when you appear before the Lord Jesus at the last day, “Well done, good and faithful servant...” will be the words you hear.
"The truly successful life is the one that arrives at eternity full of treasure— treasure from a life lived right, and the treasure of people who followed you to the light."