A Job for Everyone
The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord. (Acts 11:21)
When Mike travels to other nations, one of the things he loves doing is to ‘people watch’. There is one nation in particular that he visits quite often where his ‘people watching’ has revealed what is almost a national characteristic: men sitting around watching other people doing work! They will happily sit on their haunches for hours, offering the odd bit of (contradictory!) advice, reflecting on life, and generally watching the world go by.
Sadly, some of God’s people can be like that. They are not actively involved in the life and work of their church; but they will happily sit around for hours commenting on deficiencies or pointing out what ‘they’ ought to be doing – while never getting off their spiritual haunches and doing it themselves.
One church in the New Testament that was most definitely not like that was Antioch. At Antioch, everyone was involved, not just the leaders – especially when it came to sharing their faith. When persecution arose in Jerusalem, the main leaders had stayed there, while the ‘ordinary’ Christians were scattered, some ending up in Antioch where they preached the gospel and where many responded. There were no ‘big names’; no well–known convention speakers or international evangelists; even Barnabas didn’t come till later when the apostles heard what was going on. The growth happened quite simply through ‘ordinary’ believers ‘getting on with the job’, sharing the gospel naturally and telling people the good news about Jesus.
And what about us? Do we leave it to ‘the experts’ or the paid staff of the church? Do we think it’s enough just to live a good Christian life and never talk to anyone about Jesus? Our lifestyle is indeed often a key in preparing the ground for the seed of the word; but ultimately, the seed must be sown, as we speak out the gospel. Sharing the good news about Jesus is a job for everyone; and Jesus promises that his Spirit will be with us when we ‘get to work’ in this way.
‘Say whatever is given you to say at that time, because it will not really be you speaking; it will be the Holy Spirit.’ (Mark 13:11, NCV)
Copyright © 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont
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