Being an Effective Witness

Posted: March 10, 2011 in Uncategorized

Jesus is our model for witness, just as Jesus is our model for life but Jesus said something interesting before he left this earth.   Jesus told his disciples they will do what He has been doing, and even greater things (John 14:12). How?  When Jesus left this earth, the Father sent the promised Holy Spirit.  What a gift…but what does this gift of the Holy Spirit have to do with my witness?   You see, our evangelism is often ineffective and guilt ridden because we think it all rides on us.  Jesus reminds us that we can do nothing on our own.  The only witness that bears fruit is collaborative witness, directed by the Holy Spirit.  As Rick Warren reminds us in The Purpose Driven Church, “We should stop praying, ‘Lord, bless what I’m doing’ and start praying, ‘Lord, help me to do what you are blessing.’”  In order for us to do this, we must discover the power and presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  In order for us to be good witnesses, we need to understand the importance of a collaborative partnership with the Holy Spirit where we look for clues and we ask good questions to God and of people.  The question is “Where is God already at work?”  Our goal then is to collaborate with God, believing that God is already working.  So when you go to work, shop at Wal-mart, go on vacation, hang out with friends, eat at a restaurant, etc., we need to pause for a moment and ask God if there is something He is doing in somebody near us! Sometimes you may get nothing, but sometimes you may feel nudged by God. That is when you need to step out and allow God to use you!  God is often at work and wants to work with and through you.  Let me lift a huge burden off of you…You are not the one who creates opportunities or makes it all happen. God does that!  If the Holy Spirit is the first and primary witness, seeing what the Holy Spirit is doing and collaborating with the Holy Spirit is crucial.  There is nothing we can do to have a greater impact in our witness to others than to listen to God. So how do we listen to the Holy Spirit? How do we know when the spirit is nudging? The heart of the practice is learning to recognize that God is present with us and then ask this very present God good questions:   Jesus, where are you already at work? Can you lead me to people who are receptive?  Is there someone you want me to talk to, care for or pray with?  Is there someone here who is hurting? So instead of taking the urge to walk up to whoever you see and try to start a conversation, we should ask God to lead us particularly to someone in whom God is already working.  God wants to do this more than we realize.  Can you imagine what would happen if Christians got committed and on fire for being filled and led by the Holy Spirit in this way!  Simply pray this prayer, “God, show me where you are already at work, and take me there!”

Check out the book Re-imagining Evangelism by Rick Richardson for insights on being an effective witness.

  1. LeAnn says:

    You have a great insight! It’s no wonder you are my favorite pastor 🙂

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