Witness

Why don’t we witness more?

I’ve been thinking about this as the teaching team at our church preaches through the book of Acts in a series entitled, “We Are Witnesses.”

Some might say it’s because we aren’t “equipped” to know what to say. We haven’t received enough training in apologetics or theology to answer people’s questions and objections. But I’m not sure this is the right understanding of witnessing.

I believe witnessing is more than just presenting propositional truth; it is proclaiming personal transformation. The former focuses on the preparing the “right” “answers.” The latter is about testifying to the power we have personally experienced as a result of Christ’s redemptive work in our lives. This type of witnessing is far more compelling and really requires no special training. (“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” – 1 Peter 3:15)

Could it be that we don’t witness more because we haven’t experienced this power in our lives, and therefore have nothing to bear witness to? Maybe we have gotten so good at controlling life, at making it easy and safe, that we have shut out the power of the Spirit. We don’t know what to say because we haven’t seen anything worth talking about. But if we’ve really experienced transformation — if we are “eyewitnesses of his majesty” (2 Peter 1:16) — I believe we’ll want to tell everyone we meet.

What have you witnessed lately that is worth witnessing about?

3 thoughts on “Witness

  1. This is a great question you nailed the answer. I’ve been thinking and writing and teaching a lot lately about the question, “What makes something remarkable?” That is, what makes us say something out loud to someone else? TV shows. Restaurants. Good books. A quote from someone. All these have the capacity to move us to speak. Each of those affected us or touched us in some very relevant way. Maybe they delighted us and we want to tell someone. Why not faith in Jesus the Christ? I agree with you: we’ve become good at controlling things. Or perhaps we’ve given up on some of our passions. Either way, it’s worth praying about.

  2. Pingback: The Moving Horizon of Engagement: The New Yorker’s Nathan Heller on TED « conversation is an engine

  3. I totally agree with your comments on witnessing Angie. This piece made me think about Ken Blanchard’s concept of raving fans. According to Blanchard, a raving fan is “a customer who is so devoted to your products and services that they wouldn’t dream of taking their business elsewhere and will sing from the rooftops about just how good you are.” I know that we are called to be disciples of Jesus and not fans… but if Christians would be more willing to “sing to the rooftops” about the difference that God is making in our lives I bet that people would be more interested to know more about the Source of our hope 🙂

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