You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Acts 1:8b
A few years ago, some who are now members of Grace Baptist were studying through the book of Acts at a member’s home in Arlington. All the members of the study lived in or around Arlington, but drove in for Sunday services on Capitol Hill.
When the group studied Acts 1:8, we talked about Jesus’ words that his disciples would be his witnesses in “Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” While those words were spoken by Jesus to his disciples, they also had a profound impact on many of us in that study. While God calls each person to minister to different people, we talked about where God had placed us – in our families, in workplaces, in neighborhoods, and in communities. For several members of that study, the chance to assemble in the same place we live, shop, play, and school our children, was appealing. Combined with the statistics Mike Law shared that fewer than 4% of Arlington residents consider themselves evangelical protestants, we began to have a heart to labor for the gospel more specifically in Arlington and the surrounding neighborhoods.
That same spirit of outreach is alive and well at Grace Baptist today. Our church desires to equip and encourage each member to reflect the gospel in their home, workplace, school, and neighborhood. In fact, doing so is part of our Church Covenant (“by a pure and loving example to seek the salvation of our family and friends”). Each of us desires to be part of a church that will consistently and winsomely preach the gospel during Sunday services, live the gospel throughout the week, and pray for the salvation of family and friends.
Because the gospel has ramifications on every part of life and we are called to be a light to the communities in which we live, we support ministries within our own community. We’re not only happy to support these ministries financially, but we’re also happy to encourage our members to be more deeply involved with them week in and week out.
While these outreach activities are important, the most important outreach activity is the proclamation of God’s word, especially preaching the gospel to those who do not know that Jesus Christ lived a perfect life and died on the cross to bring forgiveness of sins to all who repent and believe.