Small Group Tools
Contemporary Comments 2012
Evangelism and Witnessing as a Lifestyle
Text: 2 Corinthians 3:2, 3; Matthew 9:36-38; 1 Corinthians 9:20-22; Mark 5:1-19; John 17:11-19.
It was St. Francis of Assisi who spoke the famous words, “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.”1
But don’t we need to use words to preach the Gospel? How can we preach without speaking? If you need some ideas, there’s a website called, Dare to Be an Angel where you can find new ideas daily. Each day, the site posts three kindness tasks to choose from. For example:
Take flowers to a hospital ward and give them to someone who hasn't had any visitors.
Take some cake, chocolates, flowers etc. to the neighbors, or a senior citizen nearby.
Invite someone who is alone over for dinner.
If you know someone who is having a hard time financially, pop a $5, $10 or $20 note in an envelope and post it to them.
- Offer to baby sit.2
She adds that she has met angels many times in her life. Not heavenly angels, but unknown strangers who have touched her life. She remembers one encounter vividly. She was in a deep, dark mood of despair when someone in line at the grocery store smiled at her and said, “Whatever it is, it will be OK.”
The key thought for this week’s lesson is important to remember: “Whether we acknowledge it or not, all believers preach a message by the example of their lives.” Maybe we get so busy planning evangelistic meetings or finding just the right words to say when witnessing that we forget this: the way we live our lives can be a mighty witness!
Compassion is a powerful witness because it shows people that we care. And everyone wants to be cared for. Your kindness may spark curiosity, which in time may lead to a conversation.
In Matthew 9:36, Jesus is our example: “But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered….” If we are moved with compassion for people, witnessing will be a way of life. It will happen naturally because we care for the hurting. By following Jesus’ example, we will be people of compassion. When on earth, Jesus saw needs and met them. He fed the hungry, healed the sick, encouraged the disheartened, gave hope to the hopeless, touched the untouchable, and ate with the sinners.
Compassion is first something we feel—then it is something we do.