We’ve all encountered good and bad witnessing, and can tell the difference between the two. The following are poor examples of witnessing; some of which you may have heard and seen too many times…….
“I’m a born-again Christian, are you?” Or… . “You look lost my friend, let me show you the way. ” Or….
“I’ve noticed, Terry that you don’t go to church. You know, everyone should go to church. If you don’t, your soul will go to hell. My church is the best! You must come to service with me next Sunday. You will come won’t you?” Or……
“Jean, you are not living right! What is the matter with you? You are way too materialistic. You’d better stop or you’ll go straight to hell!”
Clearly, these are negative ways to witness. These kind of tactics will turn people away from Christ, rather than bring them to Him. I once knew a pastor who treated his congregation so poorly that parishioners left the church in droves! Eventually he was ostracized, relocated and another pastor took his place. His successor was positive and caring and drew many to church and to Christ!
Witnessing right and in a godly fashion can be such a positive things…. But, what are the right techniques? I offer the following examples to bring people to Christ….
“Jane, I see that you’re hurting and would like to know more about Christ. Is there anything I can do to help you? Would you like to know how to be saved and know Christ as your personal savior? Or… . “Tom, you say that you don’t know Jesus and you don’t feel that He cares about you. Would you like to know about Him? Would you like to know how much He loves you? You say that you’re lonely and all of your friends have left you. Do you know that your very best friend in the world is waiting to be your friend? He knows you’re suffering, Tom and is waiting for you to come to Him. Can I show you how to find Him?”
Perhaps the best way to witness to another is to follow Christ’s examples. There are many examples from the Bible of Christ witnessing. Let me list several examples of His witnessing techniques.
Above all, Christ witnessed by first meeting the needs of the person. A person’s needs and desires were and are His highest priority. If they were hungry, he fed them, as when He took a small amount of food and turned it into enough for many hungry people, and helped the starving woman with her only child, when the woman thought her life and the life of her son’s were over. He always gave more than He received.
If someone was thirsty, he gave him or her drink. If someone was sick, he healed them, if they were searching for someone to help them, he suggested ways to get help.
If a man or woman were living in sin and asked for forgiveness, He forgave them. When He was on the cross dying, one of the two men on a cross next to Him asked for forgiveness and He forgave him. The other did not. If someone needed guidance or to be rid of evil, He showed them the way. Christ’s compassion was such that he raised several people from the dead.
Most of all, He showed great love to everyone he met and helped everyone according his or her needs and desires. He always met and helped people where they were! In other words, whenever or wherever the person was, Christ met them at that location, in that mindset or place of hurting. He never said, “Wait Helen; I’ll help you tomorrow. ” ‘Or, I’ll be back in a couple of hours and then do what I can to help you. ” Christ never did this. He gave help when it was needed and requested. He didn’t attack with hard preaching, unless it offended His Father, as in the case of the money changers at the temple or the harlot who was being stoned by the townspeople.
If I were asked to sum up the qualities of a good witness, I would list the following: Love your fellow man, do what is right, help someone when they need help, listen to those who are hurting and do what you can to assist them, present the word of God only to those who seek and want that information, be patient with those who are hurting, forgive quickly those who offend or use you, read your Bible and pray daily for yourself and others and live a “god-like existence. ”
Also important is to do as Johnny Cash used to say: “Walk the Talk. " And, if you feel uncomfortable in spreading word, then don’t. You may just need more time with the Word and trusting in His help.
Perhaps one sentence could sum up a good witness-godliness, love, a willingness to help others and a prayerful and Bible reading person. So, when you're ready, live in the Word and then spread the Word!
Copyright Toni Star 2007