This week we have noted some important aspects of a believer’s work for God. We now can touch on the topic of “reporting” (we will look at this in more detail in week 12). Reporting to the church on witnessing and evangelism activities builds a climate of encouragement and blessing. Those reporting can receive the encouragement of the church membership, and those hearing the reports are blessed as they realize what God is accomplishing through His people.1
A reading of the context of the above verses reveals that reports were brought into the church after some extended period of cross-cultural evangelistic preaching. These reporting sessions show the church’s interest in, and support for, spreading the gospel.
The whole book of Acts is a report of the early church’s missionary endeavors, and it is filled with lessons for the modern-day church. The importance of reporting is underscored as we imagine what it would do to the book of Acts if all reports of evangelistic activity were removed.
Read Mark 6:30. Why do you think the disciples reported to Jesus what they had done?
While it is true that there is personal witnessing and evangelism that happens spontaneously, it is also true that the church as a whole must have an intentional planned approach. Working with an overall church strategy helps to maintain focus and the logical progression of activities. It also brings regular opportunities to evaluate and report. Reporting is not simply listing the things we have done. Through reporting, the church and those witnessing can again see that they are co-workers with the Lord.
Some people are hesitant to turn in reports because they wonder if it is a form of boasting in human achievement but, by our faithful reporting, God is glorified, and His church is strengthened in faith. The early Christians glorified God when they heard the missionary reports of the apostle Paul (see Acts 21:19, 20).
If you were to report to the church your most recent evangelistic efforts, what would you say? What does your answer say about yourself and what about it, perhaps, might need some changing?