DISCIPLE MAKING

When You Feel like a Failure at Witnessing

Gerry Kraft / Tuesday, January 26, 2021

 

“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”  Acts 1:8

In his parting words, Jesus commissioned his disciples to be his witnesses. These were his last instructions, so they must be of critical importance. We are witnesses for Jesus through our words, actions, and attitudes. 

Do you ever feel like me? I know what I am supposed to do, but sometimes I feel guilty for not doing it well.  

I suggest that most often, when we feel like we have failed, it is because we do not know where to start. Witnessing doesn’t have to be hard, here are a few suggestions we can consider.

1. Be Aware

Be aware of what is going on around you. There is a right and wrong time to share. For example, I heard of a situation where someone had just lost a loved one and a well-meaning Christian thought it appropriate to share the 4 spiritual laws. Wrong. At that time, you want to listen and learn before you help. And perhaps share a prayer. The right time is when the Holy Spirit opens the door. It usually comes when you have shown interest in the other person.

2. Share your Story

You do not have to be a Bible expert. You do need a heart for others and a willingness to share about the personal relationship you have with the Lord. How Jesus has brought meaning to your life? Or how does He fill your life with joy? Remember it is your story, you won’t make a mistake if what you share is authentic and motivated by a desire to share God’s love.

3. Pray

Pray daily that God will give you spiritual eyes to see someone in need. This morning, my wife asked me what I was going to do today and I said “I do not know yet, I am waiting for the Lord to lead me.” It was not long before I knew that I needed to go and see a friend.

Starting Purposeful Conversations

  • Show interest in lives of other people. Ask questions and learn where a person is in life. Are they facing struggles right now? 
  • The first step might be to ask that person if you could pray for them. If yes, it could mean right now, or it might mean later on in private. 
  • Follow up with them by letting them know you have been praying for them. Ask how things have been going? 
  • Listen carefully to make sure you understand what is being said. When appropriate you can suggest that God loves them and has answers to their struggles. 
  • This would be an appropriate time to share your story and then go on from there.

An Everyday Story

In a restaurant, I noticed a young woman who had tattoos up and down her arm. I asked if I could see them and she was quite proud to show them to me. I have learned there is usually a story behind tattoos. She shared that one of them represented someone she had recently lost in her family. After hearing how broken she was, I asked if I could pray for her. She had another table asking for her and she said she would be right back. I didn’t know if she would come back so I prayed silently for her. To my surprise, she came back and asked if she could sit down and chat. She was open to me praying with her right there in the restaurant in front of all the other people.  We prayed, exchanged emails and then I left.

Teardrop tattoos on the face of this young woman made me sad so I asked about them. She responded that she had not had a happy day in her life, and they were to represent that feeling to the world. That conversation opened the door to share immediately about God’s love for her and that He had a plan to give her peace and joy through having a personal relationship with Him. God opened the door and all I had to do was walk in and share.

Another Everyday Story

I had recently been to the Mayo Clinic for treatment when a neighbour shared with me that he had some health issues. I said I would pray for him and then checked in with him over the next couple of weeks. I got a call from someone I did not know who introduced himself as this person's brother-in-law. He thanked me for praying for my neighbour and went on to say how much it meant to him. He also shared that no one had ever offered to pray for anyone in their family before. He asked if I would keep it up. 

Later I was asked if I would take my friend to the Mayo Clinic and help him get started there. I did, and it gave me several hours to talk about the Lord and how important it was to have a personal relationship with Him. Our relationship continues and now, two years later, two family members have given their lives to Jesus!

What about Results?

Jesus asked us to be his witnesses, the results are up to him. We are just asked to be faithful in representing him and his love to others. 

Being result-oriented can be discouraging if we feel like we are responsible to bring someone to a full commitment of their life to Christ. That is the work of the Holy Spirit. We are called to plant seeds – share our faith and love for the Lord Jesus and what he has done for us. 

Find joy by submitting every day to the Lord and anticipating what He has planned for you. 

Each day brings new and exciting opportunities to share His love.  

Never give up, it is never too late. I find no greater joy than being able to share the Love of God with others. I hope you feel the same.

Dr. Gerry Kraft is one of the co-founders of Outreach Canada and the former Executive Director. Gerry is still helping to provide leadership and provides loving care to many OC supporters. When Gerry was a kid, he wanted to be a big truck driver. Now, if Gerry had a free afternoon, you’d probably find him fishing!

 

 


print



Stop Training People Stop Training People

Stop training.  You are probably wasting your time and that of those you are training!  Seriou...
Read More..

Whats Next? Hope Amidst the Mess What's Next? Hope Amidst the Mess

As we move into this next season, let’s not be surprised when things are messy or challenging. We n...
Read More..

Living in Hope Living in Hope

We are clinging to any sign of hope. Yet, it does not take long before we realize that these hopes ...
Read More..

The Relationship between Prayer & Witness The Relationship between Prayer & Witness

What is the role of prayer as we look to share our faith with others? I confess my tendency wh...
Read More..

Prompting of the Holy Spirit in the Early Church & our Neighbourhoods Prompting of the Holy Spirit in the Early Church & our Neighbourhoods

The early believers experienced the full scope of the Spirit’s working and speaking.  This sensitiv...
Read More..

7 Characteristics of Effective Witnesses 7 Characteristics of Effective Witnesses

Some of the most effective witnesses I've seen have surprised me. They don't look like what I imagi...
Read More..

What Crime Shows Teach Us about Being a Good Witness What Crime Shows Teach Us about Being a Good Witness

Growing up, I watched a lot of crime dramas and police shows and these days there are more of them ...
Read More..

How the Church can make Disciples...even in a Pandemic How the Church can make Disciples...even in a Pandemic

Disciple-Making Groups can be trained to function as small churches and can reproduce themselves mo...
Read More..

When You Feel like a Failure at Witnessing When You Feel like a Failure at Witnessing

Do you ever feel like me?  I know what I am supposed to do, but sometimes I feel guilty for not doi...
Read More..

Witness Witness

Being a witness to something extraordinary is nothing new. We witness the ordinary and extraordinar...
Read More..

What is The Church when it is not Meeting Publicly? What is The Church when it is not Meeting Publicly?

What does the church look like when no one is attending? Do we identify the church by the location,...
Read More..

Quebec: Presenting the Gospel to the Québécois Quebec: Presenting the Gospel to the Québécois

How to present the gospel to the Québécois without unnecessary religious trappings that can hide th...
Read More..

Fleshing out Two Principles for Making Disciples Fleshing out Two Principles for Making Disciples

How do disciple-makers model themselves after Jesus, and how do disciples identify with the first d...
Read More..

Singing and Living in Harmony Singing and Living in Harmony

Harmony and unity are costly, yet very worthwhile. It is SO worth it. In the long run we accomplish...
Read More..

3 Canadian Hymns 3 Canadian Hymns

Looking at the lyrics of 3 Canadian hymns, and reflecting on worship through music.  "It is no...
Read More..

A Community Living Toward Wholeness A Community Living Toward Wholeness

“Yes, I love Jesus Christ, but I don’t go to church.” Over the years, I’ve heard similar state...
Read More..

Why Canada Needs Biblical Hospitality Why Canada Needs Biblical Hospitality

Jesus demonstrated how one can balance the tension between pursuing holiness and being a friend of ...
Read More..

Hospitality in the Early Church Hospitality in the Early Church

Hospitality was one of the factors that led to the discipleship and rapid expansion of the early ch...
Read More..

Hospitality in Scripture Hospitality in Scripture

Hospitality is a powerful practice with the potential to bring restoration and revitalization to so...
Read More..

Better Together: The Story of Lazarus Better Together: The Story of Lazarus

Exploring the story of an East Side Kid & the story of Lazarus. Did Jesus believe in "Better Togeth...
Read More..

This is our Moment This is our Moment

I believe that the church is the essential service in a broken world, and this is our moment. Will ...
Read More..

Better Together Better Together

The Bible is rich with stories of people dealing with difficult circumstances. A brief review of a ...
Read More..

On Thresholds of Light and Darkness On Thresholds of Light and Darkness

We think— sometimes naively—that it would be a better world without darkness. On one hand, God does...
Read More..

Time For God? Time For God?

Encouraging fresh examinations and renewed beginnings in our relationship with the God who reveals ...
Read More..

Cristinas Story Cristina's Story

We love the stories of when God gives people new life! Here is Cristina's story...
Read More..

The Search for Meaning 2.0: Multiple Confirmations The Search for Meaning 2.0: Multiple Confirmations

Part 2.0 of The Search for Meaning. How should we pray when considering major life-changing opportu...
Read More..

Faith & Catastrophe Faith & Catastrophe

Meditations on Nature, Catastrophes & Everyday Suffering. Where do we begin to reason, those of us ...
Read More..

...

How Should We Then Live?
The question is asked, “How do we move forward as a moral and ethical minority in a secular and pluralistic society?” This is a good question for any generation. What does it mean to be “moral and ethical,” an...
Read more...
Opportunities & Threats for the Canadian Church: What's Next?
"What’s next?" is a big question. We may not know the next step, but do we know the right direction? We will move ahead whether we are prepared or not. But what are we expecting? Is it only our wish to see the “old...
Read more...
Four Components of Disciple Making Movements
How can a disciple-making group lead to more groups and, perhaps, even to a disciple-making movement in our culture?
Read more...
Stop Training People
Stop training.  You are probably wasting your time and that of those you are training!  Seriously!  I say that as a trainer of church planters, church leaders, and church planting catalysts or multipliers.  Ho...
Read more...
What's Next? Hope Amidst the Mess
As we move into this next season, let’s not be surprised when things are messy or challenging. We need God! Let’s lean into him, as we navigate this new normal. Wherever we may be , whatever is on the horizon, wha...
Read more...
Living in Hope
We are clinging to any sign of hope. Yet, it does not take long before we realize that these hopes are on shaky ground. Circumstances change and suddenly we are afloat, looking for another lifebuoy of hope on which to c...
Read more...
The Relationship between Prayer & Witness
What is the role of prayer as we look to share our faith with others? I confess my tendency when presented with the opportunity to speak out as a witness, is to immediately consider possible consequences for engagi...
Read more...
Prompting of the Holy Spirit in the Early Church & our Neighbourhoods
The early believers experienced the full scope of the Spirit’s working and speaking.  This sensitivity to the Spirit was made possible through their steady commitment to worship and listening prayer.  Exploring the...
Read more...
7 Characteristics of Effective Witnesses
Some of the most effective witnesses I've seen have surprised me. They don't look like what I imagine. They aren't necessarily well-educated, or financially stable, or well-established in society. I've had the oppo...
Read more...
What Crime Shows Teach Us about Being a Good Witness
Growing up, I watched a lot of crime dramas and police shows and these days there are more of them than ever. Whether they are trying to be funny or serious there is always a constant theme when trying to solve a c...
Read more...
How the Church can make Disciples...even in a Pandemic
Disciple-Making Groups can be trained to function as small churches and can reproduce themselves more easily than large churches. Here's a simple template for how to run a Disciple-Making Group.
Read more...
When You Feel like a Failure at Witnessing
Do you ever feel like me?  I know what I am supposed to do, but sometimes I feel guilty for not doing it well.  I suggest that most often, when we feel like we have failed, it is because we do not know where to start.  ...
Read more...
 

 

2 - 7201 72 Street Delta BC V4G 1M5