The importance of reporting evangelism and witnessing activities and their results has not always been seen and consequently not always undertaken. In all areas of our modern busy lives, importance is placed upon things in proportion to their perceived value. Things that are seen as a waste of time and effort generally don’t receive a lot of our time and attention. Therefore, the importance of reporting needs to be demonstrated. That is, the church members need to see what any evaluation of reports is achieving.
A difference exists between the simple reporting of cold hard facts and the sharing of how the activities that these facts represent are a successful part of the church’s endeavors to reach people for Christ. It is the responsibility of those reporting to make sure that they convey the excitement and joy of success that comes from being involved in the reported ministry.
If we removed all reports of evangelistic activity from the book of Acts, what exciting and encouraging information would we miss that is provided in the following verses? Acts 5:14; 8:4, 12; 11:21; 14:21.
The amazing church growth that is reported in the book of Acts did not simply happen. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, and remembering Jesus’ promise of success, the believers engaged in activities that brought about these results. They were focused on what they wanted to achieve and on how best to achieve it. It is reported that through the preaching of the gospel, multitudes of men and women turned to the Lord and were baptized as part of their discipleship process. This again underscores the importance of reporting the results and the activities in as much detail as you can. In fact, the Bible records the results of the witnessing and evangelism activities more than the details of the activities themselves.
Those very early missionaries went everywhere they possibly could, preaching about Jesus and His kingdom. Because of the reported and recorded results, we assume that they also issued powerful invitations to their hearers. This continual preaching and appealing caused the dramatic results in church growth recorded in the book of Acts.
It is, of course, encouraging when we hear stories of successful evangelistic efforts. How do we respond, however, when things don’t go so well, when our plans seem to fail, when our efforts appear to do no good at all? What should our response be? Discuss your answer in class on Sabbath.