When Peter and John stood before the pharisees’ council, they defended the healing of the lame man and their doctrine by saying, Acts 4:20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. Their statement reiterated two critical points. First, they had no other message than the one given. Secondly, they were spreading the message among the people, i.e., they had no choice but to speak.
Jerusalem 33-34 AD was one of the largest cities of its day. However, there were no media outlets, printing presses, or broadcasting systems. Word-of-mouth was the most basic and prominent forms of spreading information. This “witness-type” news described products, food, politics and religious activities. This was the means by which the disciples spread the Gospel: Word-of-mouth. They were speaking of the miracles and doctrines of Jesus Christ and the result was that they “filled Jerusalem” with their doctrine.
According to Neilson, 92% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family. In fact, the most effective method of messaging is still from person to person. Further research shows that when we receive information from someone we trust, our brain releases dopamine and other feel-good neurotransmitters. This is why we often, and most naturally, act on the information received. Moreover, when we share our beliefs, we are convinced of our beliefs.
The matter of reaching the lost and solidifying our faith is found in speaking about the “things which we have seen and heard.” The more you witness, the stronger your faith. The more you share, via word-of-mouth, the greater the possibility of reaching the lost.
While these ideas are not new, they are often left unrealized. Advertisement on media platforms may reach thousands, but your voice will always be more effective. To tell the truth about God’s Word is the foundation of a relationship which leads into discipleship. We must speak! We must talk to people we know and bring them to the Gospel, the church, and to the Word. The early church grew because it was “noised abroad.”
I am urging every believer to speak! Talk! Teach! Invite! This is the call and commission of Jesus Christ.
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole