Here's Rev. Justin Montague, curate at St George & St Paul Tiverton, with our latest blog post...
Last Saturday, I joined a group of brothers and sisters from local churches for a F.I.T. session at Tiverton Baptist Church. No, this was not some kind of muscle-moving, heart-racing, sweat-inducing physical exercise class. This session was really all about stretching our spiritual muscles - Faith Impact Training as it was called (hence F.I.T.) - led by our excellent speaker Andrew Hawkins (formerly with The London City Mission, The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and J. John).
I left inspired, resourced and fired-up to be bolder for Christ in my daily life and it was also timely as the training fitted hand in glove with Andy’s sermon the following day on Jesus’ great commission for us all to ‘go make disciples of nations’ (Matthew 28: 16-20).
I have observed a very definite increase recently in public figures being open about or witnessing to their faith in Jesus in their respective spheres of influence. The Olympic medalist who gives thanks to the Lord for their skills and success, the Strictly Come Dancing Celebrity sharing openly about their faith in Jesus as the constant in their life or the pop singer praising Christ in the secular music industry.
Not all of us are called to be evangelists or perhaps have a special gifting for evangelism. But we are all called to be witnesses to the Good News of Jesus Christ to the World, in the places we live, work and play. To embody the hope, light and love we receive in Christ in word and in action through a unified ministry of praying for, caring for and sharing with our neighbours, whoever they may be.
Jesus doesn’t just tell the disciples to ‘go’ out on their own strength, He sends them out with His authority and His presence (Matthew 28) and likewise sends us. The same Holy Spirit that turned the first followers of Jesus from fear-filled to faith-filled disciples and inspired the church into existence, is available to us today, each and every one of us. The same Holy Spirit that was poured out like ‘fire’ and ‘wind’ at Pentecost, is the same presence and authority of Jesus we receive when we accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour.
You and I will have different spheres of influence or frontlines in which we live out our faith, for example our homes, the farm, the school, the office or the social club and the power of example can be one of our most valuable tools. But may we also be ready and prepared for those opportunities to share our story and the reason for our hope affirmed that the Spirit not only goes before us but is also right there with us.
In one of her poems Corrie Ten Boom wrote:
“…When I enter that beautiful city, And the saints all around me appear, I hope that someone will tell me: it was you who invited me here.”
As Andrew reminded us, we don’t simply have Good News – we have the very Best News, so let’s go and share!