Pastor’s Page

Every One His Witness

“But Pastor, I don’t know what to say.”  

I’ve spoken with a number of people who want to talk to others about Jesus.  Family members, friends, neighbors, co-workers—they’re all out there, and we’d like to get them to come “in here,” into church.  The problem is, we don’t know how to get those conversations going.  We don’t know what to say.

This past year, our Synod has released a new tool to help those conversations get started.  It’s a training program called Every One His Witness.  

Yes, we’ve had Evangelism programs in the past, but most of them were drawn out of other churches and other theologies.  We tried to adapt their methods without importing the theology, but that didn’t always work.  Our evangelistic, gospel-centered outreach often gave way to a “decision theology” that conflicted with and confused our Lutheran understanding of Scripture and salvation.  

We still confess with Luther, “I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith.”  (Small Catechism, Meaning of the Third Article of the Apostles’ Creed.)  But if the Holy Spirit does the calling, where do you and I fit in with our conversations about Jesus?  

That’s where Every One His Witness comes in.  This new program was built from the ground up on Lutheran theology, offering a simple method of approach to others that fits with that theology.  To quote from the materials:

Every One His Witness considers the real-world context in which Lutherans find themselves as witnesses of Jesus Christ.  It puts sound doctrine into practical action for sharing the faith with the people whom God has placed alongside His witnesses in their everyday lives.  Designed to be conducted as a workshop or as a six-week series, the Core Module provides participants with a strong foundation for witnessing, delivered through a combination of video instruction, individual exercises, group discussion, and partnered activities.”  

Every person who completes the Core Module is then given access to what will eventually be forty “context modules, including witnessing to adherents of world religions, members of cults, the de-churched, the unchurched, people experiencing significant life events, and those in the context of mercy work.”  The Core Module and, as needed, the appropriate context modules provide a way for you to reflect on whom to approach, how to approach them, and what you might say and do to reach out and bring Jesus to those around you.  

The Elders and I went through the Core Module this summer.  We did it as a workshop on a Saturday, and it took about seven hours (including lunch).  In the months ahead, I am planning to offer several Core Module workshops or series of classes, and I’d like to see every member in our congregations get involved in this program.  

Please, prayerfully consider setting aside time for and getting involved in Every One His Witness.  I think you’ll find it will bring blessings to your life and to the lives of those around you in the months ahead.  After all, what better and more important gift can we give to others than the good news of forgiveness, life, and salvation that is ours in Jesus Christ?  

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