Introduction: I am reading a book about early church leaders. One
significant area of dispute was the issue of church organization.
That controversy is reflected in the Christian church today. Some
churches are heavily organized while others have little, if any,
formal organization. The idea behind little, formal organization is
that Christ is the head of the church, therefore the Holy Spirit is
all the organization you need. Those in favor of more organization
would respond that the Holy Spirit guides leaders to create the
proper organizational structure. How about witnessing? Should that
be organized? Our studies so far suggest organization, so let’s jump
into our lesson and learn more!

  1. Organization?

    1. Read Acts 1:6-9. Our lesson points to verse 8 as an
      example of organization for witnessing? Do you agree? Is
      this a plan for organization? Or is this just a

      1. If you see organization in this, how organized is

      2. Consider again verse 6. Is verse 8 an answer to the
        question of verse 6? Does verse 6 give us an idea
        about how the disciples would organize witnessing if
        they were left to their own ideas? (They were focused
        on Israel. Jesus told them their “kingdom restoration
        message” was for the world. We need to check our
        witnessing ideas against God’s plan.)

      3. These verses not only have direction on the geography
        of witnessing, they contain directions on the timing
        of witnessing. Who is in charge of the timing? (The
        Holy Spirit.)

        1. Is that still true today?

        2. What do we do if we don’t “feel the power” of
          the Holy Spirit? Should we table our witnessing
          plans until we do?

    2. Peter, James, John and Paul are some of the most prominent
      names in the New Testament. Let’s read Galatians 2:7-9.
      What organization do you see in these verses?

      1. How would you apply this idea today? Should certain
        members go to certain racial groups? Certain
        nationalities? Or is there a more logical way to
        organize our witnessing today?

        1. If so, what is it?

    3. Read Luke 10:1-2. Is sending out witnesses “two by two” an
      organizational issue? Why go out in couples? (I do not
      like to travel alone on business. I prefer to go with at
      least one other person. The idea of sending witnesses out
      with companions no doubt encouraged them in their work and
      made their work more pleasant.)

      1. Notice that they went to towns before Jesus went to
        that town. What do you think was the reason for that?

        1. How would you duplicate that organization today?
          (The advance teams were no doubt to create
          interest in Jesus’ coming. I think this is
          similar to advertising today. It is similar to
          “word of mouth” work prior to a witnessing
          series. It seems to bolster the idea of doing
          advance cultivation for witnessing.)

    4. These texts point to organization in witnessing. They
      staked out territories for work, prepared the area and
      worked in teams. Let’s explore next the specific kinds of
      organization for witnessing we can have as part of our
      church structure.

  2. Meeting Places

    1. Read Acts 13:13-16. Why did Paul take his missionary team
      into a synagogue on the Sabbath?

    2. Read Acts 5:41-42. This text tells us the apostles
      witnessed in the temple courts and in homes. Does this
      simply mean that they witnessed everywhere? Or, do you
      see some organization in this?

      1. Our lesson suggests (Wednesday) that the new
        believers met in the synagogues (and the temple) for
        worship with the Jews and met in homes when
        worshiping with Gentiles.

        1. Would you do things that way?

        2. Was this just a practical matter to get around
          Jewish racial rules (see Acts 21:27-29)?

      2. Should we today have witnessing meetings in our homes
        as well as in our churches?

        1. What advantages do you see in having meetings in
          our homes?

        2. What disadvantages do you see in having meetings
          in our homes?

        3. In our witnessing plan, should we have certain
          types of people met in homes and other types in
          church? (If a person has never attended church,
          meeting in a home may be a lot less
          intimidating. It certainly is less of a “step”
          to invite someone to your home than to invite
          them to your church.)

  3. Creating New Churches

    1. Read Acts 14:21-23. This text shows that Paul and Barnabas
      were “planting” new churches in each of these towns. Our
      lesson has a quote from C. Peter Wagner (Church Planting
      for a Greater Harvest, p.11) that the “single most
      effective evangelistic methodology” is creating new
      churches. Do you agree?

      1. If you do, why is the creation of a new church a
        better outreach than strengthening an existing

      2. Do you sometimes think that your church could do a
        better job of outreach and a better job of holding
        present members if you simply had more members and
        more money?

      3. Verse 23 tells us that they appointed local elders in
        each of these new churches. What is the point of
        that? Does this have anything to do with witnessing?
        (This points to the real issue. A large church will
        have more resources and be able to make a more
        “polished” outreach. However, big churches allow
        people to just ride along with the program. In a
        smaller church, the individual members are more
        likely to be involved. Being involved makes you an
        “owner” of the program. Paul appointed local elders
        so that they would understand it was their church and
        their program. If you have a bigger church, I think
        small groups are incredibly important because they
        allow for personal involvement.)

      4. Has your church ever “planted” another church? Do you
        have any plans to plant a new church?

  4. Bi-vocational Workers

    1. Read Acts 18:1-5. Recently, someone mentioned to me that
      the trend in this area is to have more church pastors who
      have another job. They are called “bi-vocational

      1. Was Paul a bi-vocational pastor? (Yes. He was a
        preacher and a tent-maker.)

      2. Is this the ideal? What advantages or disadvantages
        to you see in organizing your church along those

        1. Would it be better to have two bi-vocational
          pastors than one full-time pastor?

      3. If you consider only verses 1-4, is Paul spending
        more time making tents or preaching the gospel? (It
        seems he is preaching only on Sabbath.)

      4. What allowed Paul to devote himself exclusively to
        preaching? (Verse 5: the arrival of two other

        1. Does this progression (by Paul) to full time
          work make it appear that the ideal is to have
          full-time pastors?(I am not sure it is a
          progression. Some verses make it seem that Paul
          was engaged in full-time witnessing before.
          However, verses like Acts 17:2 suggest that he
          had a past of preaching on Sabbaths and perhaps
          working as a tentmaker during the week.(See also
          2 Corinthians 11:8-9, Acts 20:33-35 and 1
          Thessalonians 2:9.))

        2. Or, is it just an obviously inefficient use of
          Paul’s time to be making tents?

        3. Is there a lesson in this for our witnessing? Do
          we have an excuse for not spending part of our
          time in witnessing activities for others?

    2. Friend, our study today seems to indicate that God prefers
      organization in witnessing. Has your church developed a
      plan for witnessing? Are you willing to suggest one?

  5. Next Week: Places and Occasions for Witnessing