Getting Over the Fear of Evangelism

    April 09, 2020 | Witness by Jim Gillespie

    Sharing your faith is scary. I’m not going to lie, most people find it a little frightening and uncomfortable -- myself included. I think that is the reason behind a lot of evangelism "programs.” The idea is to have some kind of polished presentation, mostly memorized, that may take a bit of the fear out of evangelism. Some of these programs do lesson that fear, but but none remove it. That's why you may have learned several ways to share your faith, you may have heard multiple messages on sharing your faith, and even memorized Bible verses on sharing your faith. 

    The question is, are you sharing your faith? If not, here are a few steps that I believe will help you change that. It looks like a program, but really it isn’t. It’s the Word in action in your life. 

    Step One: Love 

    Love Jesus more than anyone, including yourself (Luke 14:26-27). Love casts out all fear. Evangelism is an act of love, but sometimes we misplace the priority of that love. It's not that we need to love people to tell them the gospel. That love is a person- focused love. The Word doesn’t tell us to evangelize primarily because of our love for others, but because of our love for God. 

    Loving God with all of our being is first, THEN loving our neighbors is next. Without the first, you will certainly fail on the second. We don’t need a person-focused love but a Jesus-focused love. Stated another way: It's not that you are too afraid to present the gospel to people, it's that you don’t love Jesus enough to present the gospel to people. The Word says in 1 Peter 2:9 that we are "a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a nation unto God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light." This is a command. What is our motivation to obey any command of God? Love. 

    In John 14:15, Jesus says, "if you love me you will obey me." Our obedience to the Word of God is the overflow of our love for God. A great way to say it is that because of who Jesus is, what He has done and what He is doing, He is worthy to obey. This doesn’t just remove our discomfort. It overcomes it. 

    I love Jesus more than i'm afraid of what people think. I love Jesus more then I love being comfortable. Jesus is worthy of my life. Jesus is worthy of my discomfort. Jesus is worthy of His Gospel be told to everyone. Love refocuses us from the person in front of us and how they may react and causes us to focus on Jesus and How He will be pleased with our obedience to His Word. 

    Step Two: Truth 

    We are not trying to sell something to someone. We are not trying to convince them that we have a better “product” than some other belief system. We are simply telling people the truth. We are sinners, and Jesus is our Savior. 

    This is important, so read carefully: Our main goal is to glorify God, and to honor Jesus by telling people the truth of the gospel. The ultimate goal is NOT their salvation. Certainly we rejoice with those who place their faith in Christ. So does all of heaven. Of course if we love people we want to see them place their faith in Christ, but that isn’t OUR work. That is the work of the Holy Spirit. He brings men and women to salvation through the presentation of the gospel. Our work is to tell people the gospel of Jesus, that God may be glorified, that Jesus would be honored, because we LOVE Him and He is worthy of all glory and honor and praise. God is glorified and we are obedient if the person receives the gospel or not. So we do not need to focus on being perfect, polished or "Did I get every little thing right?" All we need to know is the truth, and all we need to say is the truth. A personal testimony is just the truth of the gospel in your own life.