The Church of St. Peter is on the top of the hill, overlooking the harbor of Jaffa, Israel. It used to be a major harbor (see 2 Chronicles 2:16; Ezra 3:7; Jonah 1:3) but was overshadowed by Caesarea in the New Testament era. Jaffa (Joppa in the Bible) is where Peter was when God told him that that Gentiles were included in the good news of Jesus (see Acts 9:36 – 11:18). It is the place where we first learn that God’s grace is for all of us
The church, built in honor of Peter, has an interesting pulpit. It is an old-time pulpit with a wood sounding board above the preacher (used to help the sermon be heard before sound systems were invented). Above the sound board are branches with fruit growing on them. The message of the pulpit (even without a sermon) is that Christians are to bear fruit (see Galatians 5:22-23). People who hear the Word of God are supposed to be transformed by that Word and share the Word with others. What fruits are being produced in your life? In what ways are you sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ?
Jesus final words to his disciples were “Go and make disciples of all nations… (Matthew 28:19). “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). This command extends to all who follow Jesus, to all who claim to be his disciples. This command is given to you and to me. This is the ministry of evangelism. In what ways are we being called to witness and make disciples? Let me offer a few thoughts on how we can all be part of this ministry.
First, by living our lives as a good example we witness to the work of Jesus in our lives. Being honest, caring for others, participating regularly in worship are a few of the things we can do to show that we are Christians. As one person said, “the only Bible some people will ever read is our lives.” Therefore live in a way that shows that Jesus is our Lord and Savior.
Second, we can tell other people how Jesus has made a difference in our lives, how he is working in us. A witness (see Acts 1:8) is not supposed make something up or to convince anyone what is right or wrong. The job of a witness is to report what s/he has seen or heard. How has Jesus worked in your life? How is he working today? Simply telling your story is part of bearing fruit and sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Third, we can invite people to come and see / learn about Jesus. “Come and see” (John 1:46 – read the whole story of Philip and Nathanael). You don’t have to have all the answers or a perfect theology. Simply inviting your friends to church is an act of evangelism. If you have experienced Jesus’ love in your life, if you think Sharon Church is a good place to worship God, learn about Jesus and be part of a great community of faith, then invite your friends and co-workers. Most people who come to church will come because they have been invited.
Sharon Church is a wonderful place that has incredible potential to become a thriving church with many new people. We have uplifting worship, opportunities to grow in faith and serve other people, and a wonderful sense of fellowship. One thing we lack is a passion for sharing the Good News of Jesus. If Sharon church is going to become the place we want it to be, a place of life and faith, a place where the people of our community know that they can experience God’s love, we all need to develop a desire to be witnesses, telling others how God is working in our lives. We need to invite our friends, neighbors and co-workers to come to Sharon and meet Jesus.
Current and Past Good News articles and announcements.