When people show an interest in learning more about God and His church, we must choose carefully the ones who will be given this witnessing task. In a multicultural society, we would do well to assign someone of the same nationality and language as the inquirer and possibly someone of a similar age group. Furthermore, we would consider the spiritual maturity, biblical knowledge, communication skills, and salvation experience of the worker. In other words, we should take seriously the matching of the laborer to those with whom he or she is working.
When it comes to witnessing and evangelism, there is no such thing as one size fits all. There is uniqueness to everyone’s life journey, and uniqueness to each one’s spiritual journey. However, while this uniqueness exists, there are also similarities in people’s experiences, and it makes good sense to match as well as possible the experiences of the believer and the seeker.
Read Acts 6:1–8. What tasks are listed here? What were the results when specific ministries and abilities were matched?
Notice the progression of these events: the disciples were made aware of a pressing problem. The disciples asked the believers to find seven men to address the problem. The believers brought their selection to the disciples. The disciples appointed them with the laying on of hands. And the number of disciples multiplied greatly.
Although Stephen and the other six appointees were to “serve tables,” the qualification for this task does not seem to be that they had the ability to organize and distribute food. The believers still looked for spirit-filled men because their ministry to the Greek speaking Jewish widows would also be a witnessing and evangelism work. Thus, we see that the newly appointed men were crucial to the evangelism of the early church in that they freed up the frontline evangelists and also actively supported their work (see vs. 8). Again we can affirm that whatever ministry church members get involved in will directly or indirectly contribute to, and support, witnessing and evangelism endeavors of a church.
Although natural talents, spiritual gifts, and specific training are important to a successful church ministry, personal attitudes are, perhaps, even more important. Notice that in Acts 16:1–5 and Acts 4:36-37 both Timothy and Barnabas had the attitude of doing whatever it took to support this gospel ministry. Barnabas would give of his personal means, and Timothy would submit to circumcision so as not to offend some Jews. The lessons for us are, indeed, obvious.