What can we learn from Jesus' example?
· Jesus knew how to take initiative.
· Jesus responded to the initiatives of others
· Jesus left room in His schedule for interruptions by friends and others enlisting His help.
· Jesus usually met people on their own turf.
· Jesus was interested in establishing common ground with others.
Witnessing is a science, an art and a mystery. It involves connecting your faith with people's experience in a way that they can understand, in their own time and manner. It means cooperating with whatever God's Spirit may be doing with them and leaving the results to Him.
When it came to the Early Church described in the book of Acts, it was discovered that there is a specific pattern in the newly formed group of believers. Sometimes, we feel as Christians in a highly compartmentalized society that it is difficult to reconnect Sunday and Monday. However, we can learn of a rhythm of the early church gathering for refinement and scattering for engagement and we see it progressing in Acts chapters 4 to 9.
The accounts in Acts included more than twenty refinement narratives where the Christians gathered and more than fifty engagement narratives with surrounding culture. Believers today could help to reconnect Sundays and Mondays by moving through this same cycle. The gathering process might include worship services, praise gatherings, prayer meetings, fellowship over meals, and teaching for growth. Such encounters prepare us for Monday's world of work and responsibility, filled as it is often with pressures, conflicts, and opportunities to engage unbelievers as they inspect or perhaps even oppose our faith.
Rather than being disconnected, these two worlds need to be vitally connected. The refinement of our faith as we gather for growth supplies much-needed strength as we engage the world Monday through Saturday. On the other hand, the realities of life outside the fellowship can alert us to areas where we need to grow in faith.
Timothy Liu 11th April 2003