Jesus once told his disciples, “Follow me and I send you out to fish for people,” (Matthew 4:19). Jesus was teaching his disciples to be evangelist. Evangelism scares people because they worry they are not equipped to evangelize. One of our vows for membership in The United Methodist Church is to witness. All disciples can witness to the good news of Jesus. Here’s a simple but impactful witness from one of our church members.
We had a couple join the church recently. When I met with them about membership, I asked them, “What brought you to the church?” They said, “Well, someone from your church is in our neighborhood because I see their church yard signs. We even noticed they changed them seasonally. After seeing them so often, we thought we’d try it. We’ve loved it!”
We ask members to put those signs up to get the word out about the church.
When this couple joined in front of the congregation, I mentioned they joined because someone in their neighborhood had put a sign in their yard. After worship, someone told me, “I believe they saw Beth Ziegler’s sign because she’s the only one in their neighborhood.”
Beth is an older church member who lives alone. She lost her husband several years ago, and she loves our church. Beth taught children’s Sunday school for 20 years, but she’s had many health issues and surgeries lately. She needs a cane to move around and can’t attend church much these days except when her circle of friends brings her on the holidays. But Beth is the most committed person. She sends my whole family cards every holiday. She worships online every single Sunday.
I received an email from Beth on Sunday night. She said, “Please tell me that Zachary and Cameron live in Martin Manor, and it has been my yard signs that they were talking about! I would be so happy!”
I called Beth and told her it was indeed her sign. She said, “Oh, praise the Lord. You’ve made my year! I’ve been praying my signs would help someone find their way to our beloved Haygood.” She has put up every sign we’ve produced for the last two years. She said, “The first thing I do when I get a sign is have my yard man put it up. I can’t do much for the church these days, but I love putting up my signs. I sit down each morning at my kitchen table and watch people pass by and read them. If people don’t notice, I’ll have the yard man turn the sign in a different angle.”
And then she paused and said, “I caught one. After two years of fishing, I finally caught someone.”
She continued, “Jesus told us to fish for men. Well, I caught one.”
I said, “Actually, you caught two.”
Beth took her membership vows of witnessing seriously. She would not allow her limitations to stop her from serving Christ. Because of her dedication, we have two amazing people in Zach and Cameron finding a spiritual home in our church.
Everyone can evangelize because we all have good news to share.