In the mean time, here is a extract from a recent blog entry from John Michael Talbot's blog on the call to be an aunthentic witness:
Matthew 28:16-20Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations. Baptize . . . teach . . . And know that I am with you always, until the end of the world! vv.19-20
Jesus ascended to the Father in heaven, but he is still with us through the church and through the Spirit, and he will remain with us until the end of the world at the second coming.The Great CommissionTo whom is the special "great commission" given in today's Gospel? It was given in a specific way to the eleven disciples that Jesus chose and lived with during his earthly ministry. The first believers of the early church looked to them to settle questions of faith and morality. These apostles made sure to pass their authority on in "apostolic succession" to prevent chaos and confusion. It was out of this that a set of writings was compiled to give us a record of the earliest apostolic teaching. Because of apostolic authority we now have our Scriptures.
Actions Speak Louder than Words
This does not mean that the general promises of the great commission are only for the leadership of the church. We see in Mark's Gospel that many aspects of the apostolic charge are given to all who "profess their faith." So, how do we fulfill this charge? Although gifts are given by the Spirit to lay people for particular tasks or ministry, actions speak louder than words, and all of us are called to live Christianity before we preach it. Only then will it be believed.Billy Graham said that his preaching a crusade would be fruitless if the local Christians were not preaching by lifestyle first. Likewise, eight-hundred years ago St. Francis said simple people convert souls by their lifestyles and their prayers, and they will obtain a heavenly reward for the conversions of souls before preachers do.
How we live either preaches for Christ or against him. Preaching isn't something we do alone but as a body, as a people. Do your relationships and your way of life support the preaching of the church? Who are you preaching to with your lifestyle today?
John Michael Talbot
*"Preach the gospel at all times,if necessary use words." ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI