Have you made the commitment to start a new group this year? I have and I’m busy about the task of starting new classes and new groups. I pray that you are doing the same. Why? Because the lost need to hear the Good News of Jesus! New groups will help people mature in their faith. If the lost are going to hear the Good News and if Christians are going to grow then we better start new groups.
In Acts 8:26-39, we see a new group being started that accomplished the task of making disciples. It’s the story of Phillip and the Ethiopian returning from worshipping in Jerusalem. God was at work in both and the results were amazing.
First, God was at work in the life of the messenger, Phillip. God said for him to go and Phillip was obedient to the call. Second, God was doing something in the life of the Ethiopian. He was seeking God and God was directing him to one that could help him. Third, God brought the two together and Phillip was obedient in sharing the Good News of Jesus. Fourth, God was at work when a spiritually decision needed to be made. This was a short-term group but God has provided us with a wonderful example of what it means to be a spirit-led Christian that shares the Good News.
The challenge for you and me!
1-Are we close enough to God to hear Him give us instructions on when we should share a verbal witness? If you never verbally share what the Bible teaches about how to have eternal life then it could be that you are too far from God to hear Him. Or if you share with everyone without relying on the Holy Spirit to guide you to whom to share, it could be that you are trying too hard and need to let Him do the work.
2-Do we trust God for the results or do we try to force the issue. There are folks I’ve been on my prayer list for years because they are lost. I want them to know Jesus. I want them to go to heaven when they die. But I’m afraid that there are some that I’ve turned off because I forced it on them instead of trusting God to do the work. My responsibility is to be the teller of Good News.
3-Can we be so busy with the pace of life that we pass right by those that God has directly placed in our path? It may be for a short season or a lifetime but there are those that God has brought into our lives for us to be the example of Christ’s love. I wonder if the Ethiopian was scheduled on Phillip’s calendar.
4- Have you read the passage? Notice that Phillip gave a clear call; he gave an invitation for the Ethiopian to respond to Christ. Do you offer an invitation at the end of your Sunday School class? I know what you are saying, “everybody in my class is saved”. How do you know if you never ask! Listen to the Holy Spirit and be obedient to ask for a commitment to follow Christ at the end of your class time.
We all mess up when it comes to being a witness. We say the wrong things, we say it the wrong way or it may even be to the wrong people. Either way God is able to take our pitiful efforts and turn them into something amazing. The only time we fail is when we fail to be led by the spirit in sharing the Good News. (When we don’t share, when we try to save someone, when don’t take the time and when we don’t ask for a commitment)
Dr. Tim S. Smith serves as a state missionary with the Georgia Baptist Convention and is the Sunday School/Small Groups Specialist. Visit their website at sssg.gabaptist.org for more information and other resources to aid your Sunday School.