“How about sending American Indians to the white people to pray with them?” I suggested. The idea was a hit, and soon we took it from concept to the streets. We were doing a week of prayer at the Holbrook Indian Reservation in Arizona. The native American youth at the school had already accepted the gospel. “Now what?” they were asking. How about taking them to the next level! After an hour of training I led the Indian youth in doing gospel work – house to house – in a nearby city.
The white residents of the city were taken back when these red skinned native youth asked politely, “What can I pray for you about?” It was a revolutionary moment in the kids lives, as up to that day and moment they had been the one receiving from someone else — and this totally turned the tables. It put them in a position of power to give back. They had Jesus! and something to share! At the end of the day the kids were so happy with themselves, and what was astounding to them is they had invitations from eight white residents to go back and give Bible studies! They were thrilled; their almond eyes danced with joy.
In every person’s life God intends two conversions. The first is a turning from sin to Jesus. The second conversion is from no impact to impact. The second conversion is an action step into one’s grander destiny to bring others into hope. This step in aiding men and woman to multiply their faith is to be your aim from the minute you begin sharing Christ with someone.
What you want for those you are witnessing to is that they will also be witnesses. Many carry the name Christian, but don’t witness. Such a life is an oxymoron. Like the woman who said, “I like humanity, but I loathe persons.” We cannot prepare people for heaven by only having them keep their new faith buried inside. To keep quite about salvation is a great robbery of destiny, much like an apricot tree that only bears leaves — (Why call such a tree an “apricot” tree?)
How can you work with people in such a way that you can help them to experience both conversions: belief AND becoming living witnesses? Here are four tips:
1) Encourage the person you are working with to praise the Lord. Every time you get together with your friend or Bible study student — share praises, and testimonies of what they are thankful for. Them identifying and celebrating God’s gracious involvement in their lives is 90% of what witnessing is about.
2) After a time of Bible discovery ask them while their hope is hot, “Who around you needs the joy you are finding in this Bible truth?” In this way they will begin blending their outer world with their inner world.
3) Set up a time to not only do “Bible Study” with your contact — but to do some ministry together. This keeps faith from just being bookish and theoretical.
4) Affirm actions and stories that they share that show personal initiative to share their new faith to neighbors or co-workers.
When the week of prayer was over one Native American youth said, “I spoke up about Jesus and it made a difference for others. I felt important because I leaned I really am.” That’s what it’s all about.