Uncomfortable With Evangelism?
I wish were not in the Christian vocabulary, it is the word evangelism.
”For many, the thought of evangelism is so discomforting that this sentiment, hard as it is to admit, describes how they feel about it. So how do we increase our comfort level with evangelism so it becomes something we do without dreading instead of something we dread doing?
1. See evangelism from God’s perspective.
God never said, “Evangelize or else.” We read in Matthew 4:19 the first thing Jesus taught His disciples about evangelism: “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Fishers of fish take something alive and make it dead, but fishers of men take something spiritually dead and see it come to life. Through evangelism your life can count for something that will outlast it. See sharing your faith as a grace trip, not a guilt trip.
2. Confess your fears to the One who’s on your team.
Frightened, the disciples cried out, “Enable your servants to speak your Word with great boldness” (Acts 4:29). Two verses later we read that they “spoke the Word of God boldly” (v. 31). They knew that as they worked on His behalf, He worked on their behalf.
3. Learn a method.
Memorize a gospel outline that you’ll remember when you’re frozen with fright, eyeball to eyeball with a non-Christian. Having a method to turn conversations to spiritual topics and present the gospel helps you free up, not freeze up.
4. Start somewhere, but start.
Cold-turkey door knocking might sound as exciting as taking your mother-in-law along on your honeymoon. The New Testament knows one message: Christ died for our sins and arose. It does not know one method. Why not invite a neighbor over for dinner and make a few comments about the group Bible study you’re enjoying? Try giving one of the Left Behind books to a non-Christian interested in future events. Little steps could end up being eternal strides for a lost acquaintance who comes to Christ.
As your comfort level increases, you might find yourself saying, “Evangelism isn’t always easy. But it is not always as difficult as I’ve made it.”
Larry Moyer (Th.M., 1973) is executive director of EvanTell.