Author: Paul Hatton
What does it mean for everyone to be a witness?
Jesus sent his Holy Spirit to empower each and every one of us to be witnesses. He commissioned us to share the truth of the gospel throughout the world, starting with where we are right now.
'But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.' (Acts 1:8)
We believe Jesus’ purpose for us is as important today as it was for the disciples in the early church. To be witnesses in all we say and do, whether by words, works or wonders, is a natural outworking of being a spirit-filled people. We want to share and celebrate our stories, however insignificant they may feel, to encourage one another as we step out in faith.
How to cultivate this in your group
1. Share stories
By far the best way to raise expectation and faith is to regularly share stories. Leave time whenever you meet to allow people to talk about the ways that they have witnessed this week. To start with these may seem small and inconsequential. It is important to help people have the confidence to share even the small things. Over time these stories will become more regular. Also make sure you share your failures and laugh about it!
2. Make friends with people who don't know Jesus yet
lead by example and make friends who don't go to church and aren't in your LIFE Group! This might be neighbours, colleagues, or people you met at a group or sports club. Encourage members of your group to do this together and to make friends at the same time. Without a good 'fringe' to your group there won't be much witnessing happening.
3. Provoke and encourage each other to step out
Keep talking to each other about it. Go on the journey together, leaving no-one behind. Keep bringing challenge to those in your group while at the same time challenging and provoking yourself.
4. Make LIFE Group appealing
If your group is fun and interesting then your members are more likely to invite their friends into it. Have group socials where you purposefully invite friends along to. BBQ's, cinema nights or just a drink down the pub are easy things to organise and easy to invite along to. Making your group more appealing will also help people to talk positively about the group to their friends.
5. Expect big things from God
'And Stephen, full of grace and power, was doing great wonders and signs among the people.' (Acts 6:8) - As we rely on the Holy Spirit we want to step out more in praying for healing and salvation, expecting in faith to receive words of knowledge, and to have the courage and obedience to follow when God speaks. We want to encourage and challenge one another to share our stories of what God is doing through us, and to know that he can achieve more when we ask to receive the gift of his Spirit.