"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8
If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, if you have come to know Him as your Savior, it is because someone witnessed to you. Through the way they lived, and the words they said, and because of the quality of their walk they made the Christian faith seem credible to you. You had to investigate their claims because of the integrity of their lifestyle.
As this verse reminds us, Christians are called to be witnesses for Jesus Christ wherever we go. During 2011-12 in our Year of Hope emphasis will be a call to Holiness and a call to Outreach.
What will that involve? What does the call to outreach ask you to do?
For Fredericksburg Wesleyan Church, the call to outreach means we will ask you write and memorize your personal testimony. Like most people, you underestimate the power of your story of how you became a follower of Christ. Anyone who values you as a friend will find your story important. It is important that you prepare a two or three minute of what your life was like before you believed in Christ, how you came to know Him and how He has changed your life. We will call our people to work on these testimonies and share them in their LIFE Groups.
Also, our challenge to outreach will involve a target list of three to five non-believing friends for whom you will regularly pray and interceed for their salvation. You would not be a Christian if it had not been for a person who loved you enough to pray for your salvation. We have been doing this for about 18 months at FredWes and have regularly seen people from these lists crossing the line of faith.
Being prepared to share your faith and being faithful to pray for your friends are two big pieces to the outreach puzzle.
Third, you will be asked to demonstrate the love of Christ by touching your friends with acts of kindness. It may be a card to encourage or springing for lunch. Perhaps you could help with yard work or offer to babysit to give a friend a night out. There are dozens of ways to touch others with the love and grace of Jesus if you are looking for them!
So, the Year of Hope will involve an emphasis on Holiness and on Outreach.
What are you doing to witness for your Lord? If you don't consciously and intentionally make an effort to have a positive witness, you will unintentionally become a negative witness. I am sure you don't want that.
Will you formulate your testimony? Will you have a target list? Will you touch others with the goodness and grace of God?