We are commissioned by Jesus to go into the world and to be a witness. We should start where we live, whether at home, on the job, at school, in the neighborhood. We should look around at our family members, friends, or anyone who our paths cross and needs to hear the good news of the gospel, as opportunity presents itself while being led by the Spirit. But know that there are many forms and ways to witness. Not all people will respond to the spoken word of God at first, but they are still looking for HOPE.
We must be reminded that “The Church” is NOT a building structure. “The Church” is the body of believers in this world who are representing the children of God.
So many are in desperate need of the loving grace of our God. The world is filled with people who are broken, wounded, lost, oppressed, and perplexed. Communities are highly impacted by the church and what flows out of the church.
God is calling us to be the link in our communities and to seek justice … “Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow,” says Isaiah 1:17.
You may ask, what are some things that prevent us from doing this? We may be too busy doing other things. The church has turned a big part of its focus to pop culture. A hard reality is that our hearts are not burning for God, and we have settled for lesser things.
But the eyes of the Lord are searching. He wants to take us deeper into His intimate presence internally, and He wants to invade our neighborhoods and cities with His presence outwardly. Then we will see His great power and salvation demonstrated in our streets and everywhere we go.
We must admit that we are living in perilous times. We need God’s captivating power and presence in our cities and in our personal lives. One thing that God wants us to remember is how very desperately He cares for the lost in our cities and world. He is a God of compassion (Psalms 116:5) and the pain and cries in the city and world have touched His heart deeply. He longs for us to partner with Him in bringing hope into our cities. He is the answer to all the problems and pain, and His presence in our cities will make all the difference. When we see the ruined condition of our communities, it should break our hearts and stir us to prayer and response.
The main purpose for the church’s existence is to evangelize the world and build up believers. Many scholars suggest that these purposes are worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry, and mission, and that they are derived from the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:37–40) and the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19–20).
As a Christ follower, a mother, a sister, a neighbor, in my community, I am compelled to walk with my neighbors. This could look like meeting physical needs, social and mental needs through offering encouragement, and most importantly spiritual needs by sharing the good news of the gospel and prayer.
As individuals, we have so many opportunities presented to us to love our neighbors. From cooking a dish of food for a neighbor who lost a loved one, too sharing a bottle of cold water and a kind word to a homeless man walking by. The church is several individuals coming together to meet needs in the community and love our neighbors. There should be intentional outreach to communities from local fellowships.
“All of this is about loving our neighbors as ourselves. We never know what’s going to happen or what’s going to come up. But there are times when God will allow us to be there in that moment and we have to do what we have to do.
I’ve personally thought many times, what if this was my father, child, brother or sister… How appreciative I would be if someone saw them in distress or in need and thought enough to help them or encourage them. May we, the church, learn to take out the time to intentionally think of others and respond to those who are hurting and are in need. May we follow the example of our savior Jesus Christ, and think of others more than we think of ourselves.
In the early 90’s, Justina served as a youth education provider to families in the Summerhill section of Atlanta, Ga. She saw the crime, poverty, and lack of education. And she saw the effects that a lack of support can have on a community in crisis. After years of collaborating with parents, educators, and doctors to support these issues, Summerhill Community ministries was founded.