“Oh, Aslan,” said Lucy. “Will you tell us how to get into your country from our world?” “I shall be telling you all the time,” said Aslan. “But I will not tell you how long or short the way will be; only that it lies across the river. But do not fear that, for I am the great Bridge Builder.’”
By C.S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader: The Chronicles of Narnia
Jesus’ method of carrying the message of salvation to the world was the making of disciples. He included this as a command in His last words before His ascension to heaven: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always to the end of the age” (Matt.28:18-20). This was His command to us also. We are to spread the Good News of salvation.
How To Share the Good News
Sharing the Good News can be as simple as sharing what the Lord has done in your life. Show the video, “How to write your testimony of faith.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8g4LY8ngQew
Once the women have viewed the video, encourage them to write their story. When they are comfortable with what they’ve written, record it and share it (with permission) on social media. If they choose to volunteer in the social service office or food bank at the corps, they may have the chance to share with clients their story of the difference God has made in their lives.
Be Prepared to Give An Answer
Show the trailer from the movie “Grace and Gravity,” that was released in 2018. This film is about an American Christian who is travelling for work in UK when he encounters a minister who has lost his faith and is about to leap off a bridge. In the course of the movie the conversation on the bridge becomes a test of the Christian’s own faith. He realizes that the knowledge he has about God has not produced the result of a holy and content life. We never know when we will be called upon to share our faith with someone who is in crisis. It is in those circumstances that we must rely on the Holy Spirit to guide us.
Spend some time talking about suicide prevention. The National Suicide Prevention life line is 1-800-273-8255, which is manned 24/7. There is a lot of helpful information on the Internet that can be shared with the women.
When we became a Christian we were instructed to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matt. 28). But for many of us this is a scary thought. We feel inadequate and don’t know what to say. We hope that God has planted someone in our corps with the unique and unmistakable gift of sharing the Good News with others. We are unsure about our own abilities, and think it’s better to stand back and give others a chance to shine with the brilliance of their gift of evangelism. But according to Scripture we all are the branches and called to bring “fruit that lasts” (John 15:5). If we are honest, it is not a strong belief in the ability of others, but our deep–seated insecurities and fear of rejection that keep us from sharing our stories of transformation and Jesus’ saving grace.
First Peter was likely written between AD 62–64, during the persecution of Christians under the reign of Nero. Peter seeks to encourage believers to stay strong in their witness in face of undeserved suffering. In a short couple of verses in chapter 3 we find some important principles of witnessing with courage. “Do not fear … do not be frightened. But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil” (1 Peter 3:14, 15, 17).
In his book Just Courage, Gary A. Haugen notes a very sobering truth: “Many of us say that Jesus has rescued us from judgement and sin and death—but actually we are quite busy trying to save ourselves. What sometimes looks like confident hard–charging activity in the world is frequently just nervous energy generated by what terrifies us.” That reminds us that the first important step in preparing to testify effectively is to explore honestly our deep–seated fears and to welcome Holy Spirit to walk alongside us and to disarm them. This step is best done by prayer. Remember, that through our life we’ve become masters of justifying our fears and overlooking them all together, so we can stay on the “safe” side of ministry.
We should find time to write down our testimony as many scholars suggest. It reminds us that our rescue was from God and not of our own making. Yet, as the movie “Grace and Gravity,” points out, our testimony carries more weight when we are willing to be vulnerable with others and to admit that there are parts of our stories that we don’t understand and still wrestle with.
Hope That You Have
We need to examine our hope and understand how it helped us in the past to overcome our own fear and confusion. If we stay faithful to our calling, we will be reminded that it was a seed of hope that continues to grow through our whole life.
“Our hope is a point–blank confrontation carried out by Christians who refuse to compromise with the ways of hatred and unrighteousness, and who insist on living holiness of radical compassion, righteousness and justice. Living in the hope is living the hope now!” writes Commissioner Phil Needham in his book Christmas Breakthrough.
With Gentleness and Respect
Is God challenging you to move beyond your comfort level? We come together to study His Word. We nourish our souls when we worship together and bring our needs before God in prayer. But we need to remember that transformation happens not when we say what we could do, but when we actually do it. Peter reminds us than when we encounter others who ask us about our faith, we need to share with gentleness and respect. Why? Because each one of us carries broken pieces of our stories. As we read in John 12:24, “Jesus said, ‘Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.’” The birthplace of our true faith is often found when we come to the end of our own self and happiness as we’ve envisioned it. When we learn to understand the pain and scars that marked our way to Jesus, we will learn the deep meaning of ‘gentleness and respect’ for the brokenness of others.
- “Grace and Gravity” – movie trailer
- How to write your testimony of faith:
- Gary A. Haugen Just Courage: God’s great Expedition for the Restless Christian. IVP Books, Downers Grove, Illinois 2008
- Phil Needham, Christmas Breakthrough: Finding the Real Gifts of the Season. Crest Books, Alexandria, VA 2019