The Great Commission is found in Acts 1:9 and Matthew 28:18-20. I would like to share how we can be authentic witnesses and disciple-makers for Christ.
For me, an authentic witness or disciple-maker is one who is truthful and sincere in his or her life testimony for Christ and reflection of His image. To do this we need to pray constantly, have the love and compassion of Christ and be willing to be led by the Holy Spirit, and to sacrifice our time, energy and resources in doing so.
In our daily witnessing and disciple-making for the Lord, my wife and I find that the people we talk to can sense whether we are genuinely interested in them or not. If we show that we are just going through the motion of befriending them or testifying to them, they are not interested in what we say. Below are some examples of witnessing and disciple-making done mechanically vis-a-vis genuinely.
Mechanical: Say “hello” and rush off. See through people. No response when people greet us.
Genuine: Eye contact; smile; a warm handshake. Stay to listen and talk.
Conversation with people
Mechanical: Talk much; listen little.
Genuine: Listen first, then talk. Ask questions to show that we are interested in the person’s welfare, concerns, worries, fears, etc
Accepting help or hospitality from people
Mechanical: Stand on ceremony. Turn down offer of help or hospitality. (I was guilty of this until the Holy Spirit chided me for robbing others of their blessings.)
Genuine: Accept help and hospitality graciously. Reciprocate by buying food and drinks the next time.
Meeting people of other faiths
Mechanical: Start sharing your faith immediately. Ask them to go to church.
Genuine: Ask them to share their faith with us. Listen and ask questions to seek clarification, like: “Who am I?”; “Why am I here?” “Where am I going?” etc. Then share our faith and answers to the life questions, and let the Holy Spirit use what we share to touch that person. Pray for his or her salvation. Continue to sow the seed, water it, and when the harvest finally comes, lead the person to Christ.
Sharing the Gospel
Mechanical: Rush through the sharing like a bullet train – to finish the task.
Genuine: Pray for guidance on the timing and approach. Make the Gospel relevant to the person concerned. Share our testimonies. Witness and testify that Jesus is alive today and He is able and willing to help those who seek Him.
Mechanical: When a person believes in Christ, ask him or her to attend church. Let the Church do the follow up.
Genuine: When a person believes in Christ, disciple him or her. Encourage him or her to fellowship with the Body of Christ but continue to mentor that person.
To be an authentic witness and disciple-maker, we need God’s help. We need to pray in the Spirit continually and live out God’s Word in our lives. We need the Holy Spirit to fill us with God’s love and compassion and constantly guide us as we witness and make disciples for Christ. And we should remember that in witnessing, God does the converting; we do the sowing, watering and harvesting [1 Cor 3:5-9; John 4:35-38]. The glory goes to Him always!
By Mr Lim Han Soon (YCKC Bulletin 16&17 February 2019)