Today: Ascension – time when Jesus said farewell to Disciples & was taken up into heaven.
Only other figure taken up- Elijah
Says in Luke – Messiah must suffer, & rise on 3rd day Repentance & forgiveness proclaimed.
Gospel in most concise form.
“You are witnesses of these things…”
Anyone notice who stood up?
What was he wearing? Shirt? Pants?
Anything else? Sign? Color? Words?
You have just witnessed an event.
You can tell me the facts, verify it was true.
Who’d have thought?
For others to know: have to tell them,
-convince them its true.
You would witness…
Witness: someone who by explanation & demonstration gives audible and visible evidence of what he has seen and heard w/out being deterred by consequences.
Great story about someone wanting to witness:
While working as a barber a man lathered up a customer for a shave, came at him with the poised razor, and asked, “Are you prepared to meet your God?” The frightened man fled with the lather on his face!
What makes an effective witness?
Non-threatening, sincere, natural, good timing,
clear description, desire for others to know truth,
believing what you’re saying.
Meet people where they are…
Christ met unbelievers where they were. He realized what many Christians today still don’t seem to understand. Cultivators have to get out in the field. According to one count, the gospels record 132 contacts that Jesus had with people. Six were in the Temple, four in the synagogues and 122 were out with the people in the mainstream of life.
Where’s the best place to witness to people?
“Mainstream of life.” (168 hrs./week 2 in worship)
Jesus promised something powerful & wonderful to help us in our witness…
“You will receive power when the HOLY SPIRIT has come upon you…”
“You will be my witnesses…” where?
Remember sign – who can testify to what it said?
Jerusalem, Judea & Samaria, ends of the earth.
Obvious pattern – hometown first, (Capital)
-2 territories formed their country
-ends of the earth.
Significance- hometown is where you start…
Then go national & then international.
Witness & Mission should start at home, then grow beyond our community.
Bishop – “I appoint pastors to their communities, not just the churches w/in those communities.”
Our job as churches & Christian witnesses happens in the community much more often than inside the building.
Stat: 10X: Temple or Synagogue, 122X: Outside.
Referred to it as mainstream of life.
Stores & coffee shops, walking around town, at dinner or parties, in workplace…
Acronyms – world is full of them.
Computers & Electronics:
RAM, CPU, LCD, VCR, DVD
BP, OR, ICU, NICU, CPR
UMC, NCNY, UMCOR, FROG, WWJD
Find A Need And Fill It
Imagine where our church would be if we lived this out with…
If we responded to the community’s need with practical Christian concern, love, & action.
Imagine if we didn’t just sit back and complain about the ills of our society, but we prayed about them,
-We spoke to people about the consequences of their actions
-We found ways to make it easier for people to cope & found ways for people to break out of their generational cycles of abuse, neglect, & poor decisions.
-We saw situations & filled those needs with Christian love and witness.
Would our community ever be the same?
Imagine if we teamed up with churches across the US & did the same…
Imagine if were teamed up with churches across the world & did the same…
We could never do this w/o being a connectional church.
We couldn’t do this if we weren’t Methodist.
UMCOR, GBGM, Africa University, world Methodism
Jesus said we’ll receive the power of the Holy Spirit & we will be His witnesses…
Here in our Community, in our Country,
& to the Ends of the Earth.
We need to tap into the power of the Holy Spirit,
To be strengthened in our faith,
-Passionate about people around us,
-& Inspired to find new ways of helping,
then our witness will be powerful, effective, and life changing.
Just like Jesus.
WWJD - FANAFI