Lesson 10 – Witnessing: passing the faith along
Who me? you might ask.
Every follower of Christ—even a new believer such as yourself—has received an assignment so important that it is known throughout the Christian world as the Great Commission. Described in various ways in the New Testament, this “order” is spelled out most clearly in Mark 16:15, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation” (niv). Another version, this one found in Acts 1:8, offers assurance that God will help you carry out the task, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem … and to the ends of the earth” (niv).
Some people call it the principle of spiritual multiplication or, more simply, “passing the faith along.” Paul explains the concept to his young friend, Timothy, this way: “The things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others” (2 Timothy 2:2, niv). Jesus, the master teacher, modeled how to do it. Without benefit of mass media or sophisticated technology he managed to bring the message of God’s salvation to the world by concentrating his training on twelve men. These men, in turn, trained others. At some point, someone—parents, friends, Sunday school teacher, pastor—passed the faith to you.
Now it’s your turn. At the very heart of being a Christian are two responsibilities: the responsibility to be a disciple yourself, and the responsibility “to disciple”—to lead—others into this role.
A Work in Progress
Frightened by the challenge? Think you’re too new to the faith? Haven’t felt the “call” yet? Doubt your ability to lead anyone to Christ because you’re still a newcomer yourself?
The good news is that you have many ways to be a witness for Christ. One of the most common is to share your testimony with a friend. This can be a simple one-on-one account of your relationship with Jesus. It can be a brief expression of your own experience, of where you have been and how you arrived at this point in your Christian pilgrimage. You can explain that you are a “work in progress,” and that you can only speak to where Christ has brought you today.
Another way to witness is by your actions. Old habits may fall away as you start to stretch and grow under God’s loving guidance. You are no longer the same person, and the changes may be evident.