This is how you can start a witness culture—a movement in your church. This is how I did it.
- When I was a pastor, I learned how to develop culture.
- I came to realize that this is what discipling people is all about: developing spiritual culture.
- It has many parts and pieces.
- Witnessing is just one of them.
Here’s my story:
- I taught a Bible class on Sundays, during the Sunday school hour, between the early and late worship services.
- We usually started Bible class by taking prayer requests, then prayed, and then I taught the lesson. I had done this for two years.
- On “launch the movement of witnessing Sunday” I came into the adult class as usual.
- However, I began by saying, “Before we take prayer requests, and pray, would anyone like to share what God has done in your life since we met last Sunday?”
Stop and notice:
- No announcement, anywhere, to anyone, at any time, about what I was up to.
- Why? I didn’t want to make it a “program.”
- Programs imply some are involved, others aren’t.
- Programs imply, “It’s something we have to do.”
Changing culture is not a program. It is not something we do.
- It is someone we become.
So, what do you think happened, when I asked, “Before we ask for prayer requests, anybody want to share what God has done in your life, since we met last week? Anything at all?” Guess what happened?
- Nothing! Nothing at all.
- Week #2: same thing. Same result.
- Week #3: same thing. Same result.
- Week #4: same thing. Same result.
- Week #5: same thing…and…wait…
- Mildred, a silver-haired widow in the third row, three seats to my left from the middle aisle, raised her hand!
- Note: Mildred didn’t normally say much of anything in Bible class.
- I think she caught on: “I think he’s going to continue asking that question that week.”
- During that week, she remembered that question: “What has God done in your life?”
- Something did happen. And she remembered to share it.
- It wasn’t polished, which was excellent: it was authentic!
This was a small beginning, the beginning of a massive cultural change in our church. And no one consciously noticed! However, it would change everything!