“Every One His Witness”
(A Six Week Walk with Witnessing)
Many congregations have been blessed over the years to have fund raising campaigns that generate many thousands of dollars for the Lord’s work. But the success of these special appeals can have to do with the depth of Spiritual maturity the Lord works through what might be called “faith raising campaigns.” For many, these special Spiritual emphases began with “40 Days of Purpose,” and from there have come similar intensive devotions to a singular topic for forty or fifty days on such important matters as prayer, and world missions.
The key to the largest possible benefit from such an experience is the unified focus of the whole congregation on just one topic over a sustained period of time. Some would even urge congregational boards and committees, if at all possible, to take a break from their usual meeting schedule for the duration of the emphasis so that they might give their undivided attention to the congregation’s unifying thematic goal.
In addition to the singular focus, there is a powerful three-prong strategy for the emphasis to have the most significant Spiritual impact.
1) Weekend Worship themes and sermons are devoted to an aspect of the topic, including Adult Bible Class and Sunday School lessons for the children.
2) Small Group Bible Studies are highly encouraged to take a break in their usual curriculum and take up the special curriculum for the emphasis. Often several new small groups will be formed especially for this emphasis (and many will continue beyond it).
3) Personal Devotional Reading on the topic in advance of the weekend worship services and the small group Bible study discussions.
The Every One His Witness curriculum produced by Concordia Publishing House will provide the resource necessary for Adult Bible class, both on Sunday morning, and in the small groups throughout the week that meet in homes or restaurants. But the curriculum does not provide any weekend worship helps, or a guide for personal devotional reading in advance of the group sessions. In the page that follows, you will see such a reading guide of the material that is in the Every One His Witness spiral bound core module.
The approximately 200 pages are divided up over 42 days of reading, requiring only about four pages of reading per day. These bite sized pieces of reading will allow the reader to soak up what is said, and to pray and mediate upon it, especially on whatever Bible passages are included in the reading. At the conclusion of each six days of reading, the curriculum supplies the exercises which will make up the content of the small group Bible study (incorporating also the videos to watch on the DVD).
May the Lord bless this six week walk with witnessing. And notice that it is to be a walk with witnessing and not just through witnessing, as if it were just something to be over and done with. The goal is that the Lord would use this intentional focus on the vital work of witnessing so that we would in fact put it into practice on a regular basis in our daily lives. Again, this is a faith raising experience, even a stretching experience. And as a wise person once said, “when we’ve been stretched we never quite return to our original shape.” May the Lord use His Word, and the “mutual conversation and consolation of the brethren,” to equip us and motivate us be joyful and effective witnesses of the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ to a world that is dying to hear it.
Rev. Dr. Paul R. Naumann, Senior Pastor
St. Michael Lutheran Church and School