At this stage in my life, there is no use in attempting to hide my age. If you are as “seasoned” as I am, you may remember a commercial for a well known canned chili. A crusty old cowboy asked, “How long has it been since you have had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?” Let me reframe this question for our purpose. How long has it been since you have shared your story, how you came to believe in Jesus with someone else, someone in desperate need of the Good News?
A survey was conducted in the 1990s by Bob Gilliam with the Church Development Survey. The survey was taken in five hundred churches, across forty denominations, throughout the United States and Canada. What did the survey reveal?
It takes one church, with one hundred regular attendees, investing one-hundred thousand dollars, one year to win just one person to their own saving faith in Jesus Christ.
How is this possible? Look around this week at the rapturous expressions on the faces of the people you worship with. Here in the United States, millions of people who profess belief in Jesus gather in churches large and small to participate in weekly services. What do you know about the evangelistic practices of the people who make up your local assembly or congregation?
Here are some questions to consider:
Is regularly occurring evangelism training available to the individual attendees of your local church?
Are believers being encouraged from the pulpit to share the Good News wherever God presents an opportunity?
When was the last time you heard a testimony in a church by someone who shared their faith during the previous week?
Have you recently met someone who came to faith because of the intentional witness of an individual that attends your local church?
One of the reasons most people don’t like measurements or statistics is because they frequently identify areas of deficiency. Let me clarify. This is not about racking up numbers. We should never care about notching our “salvation six-shooters.” But we are talking about personal and organizational faithfulness. Our faithfulness will be measured by God in the future at the Bema Seat Judgement.
There is great clamoring these days around the United States because of the terrible stewardship of the monies taken by our government through the taxes levied on its citizens. Politicians who never succeeded working in the public sector make sweeping and costly decisions creating jobs, reducing public debt, and returning responsibility and self-reliance to the American people. Whether you are on the left, right, or somewhere in-between, we all recognize we are not getting a good return on our investment as citizens of the United States.
It is equally important that those who believe in Jesus self-inspect that portion of the Body of Messiah where they regularly fellowship and worship. We should be asking why we are not getting a better return on the investment of our time, talent, and treasures as measured by the people coming to new saving faith where we live, work, play, and worship.
One of the most important tools for witnessing activity is your own personal testimony about how God saved you. Think back. When was the last time you told someone about Jesus and how you came to know Him? Getting started telling others about Him can be as simple as developing with someone who is safe.
First, I want to introduce you to Jonathan Patrick. Jonathan just completed a year-long discipleship training program At T-Bar-M Camps in New Braunfels, Texas. For the past nine years, Disciple Daily has helped train members of T-Bar-M’s Timothy Team. This year we focused on showing the team members how their own personal testimonies fits into the over all Stories of God. Jonathan did not grow up attending church. But, his love for the Lord now is clearly evident. Enjoy!
Second, I have a good Jewish friend who is a proactive proclaimer of his own personal faith in Messiah Jesus. His name is Olivier Melnick. Olivier was born in Paris to survivors of the Holocaust. Olivier is the Northwest Regional Director of Chosen People Ministries. This is his story.
Please Share Here
Let me invite you to share a brief testimony about how you came to faith in Messiah Jesus in the response space provided below. Maybe after sharing here, you’ll find the courage to share it again with someone who God will introduce to you in the week ahead. If that happens, feel free to come back and share that as well, regardless of what kind of response you receive.
Once you get started telling your testimony regularly, you’ll never again worry about hearing “well, that’s too long” when Jesus asks “how long has it been since you last testified of your faith in Me?”