Afraid To Witness

I read this article on Trevin Wax’s blog.  I thought it perfectly gives the main reasons we do not share Christ with others.  These principles helped me see some areas I can work on in my own life and I am challenged to share Christ more.  Enjoy!

From Trevin Wax:
”What do you do when church members tell you that they truly desire to share their faith and yet feel too afraid? How can you help church members become bold enough to share the gospel?

I start out by diagnosing the specific reasons this church member is afraid to witness:

  • Some worry that witnessing to a stranger might seem distasteful and turn them away from the gospel.
  • Others worry that witnessing to close friends or relatives might change something in the relationship. They don’t want to risk the friendship or damage their family ties.
  • Some people fear rejection.
  • Others worry that they don’t know enough about Christianity to give good answers.

Once you have diagnosed the root causes of the church member’s fear, you can begin to explain why fear should not stand in the way of evangelism. It is appropriate to approach the task of evangelism with some trepidation. After all, we are participating in a sacred task of obedience to our Lord. But “being afraid” – whatever the reason – is not an excuse to not evangelize. Why not?

First, we have been commanded to make disciples. Christ does not provide any loopholes in his statement. It is a command for all able Christians. We are not commanded to evangelize only when we overcome our fears (that may never happen); we are to make disciples despite our fear.

Secondly, we should realize that we have little reason to fear. Most unsaved people are not hostile to the gospel. In fact, research from Thom Rainer and others demonstrates that a great number of non-Christians are open to hearing about the faith of others. When you speak kindly and graciously about the gospel, you will find that most people react kindly and politely, even if they reject your call to repentance.

Third, we should do everything in our power to minimize the reasons for our fear.

If lack of knowledge is one of reasons you are afraid to share the gospel, then do some more learning. Be ready to answer and give a defense for your faith. Dive into some apologetics and have some resources handy. Whenever you are asked something you do not know the answer to, simply be honest and admit your lack of knowledge. It is okay to say, “I don’t know. Let me get back with you.”

If you worry that sharing the gospel might damage a familial relationship, then consider the words of Christ, who tells us that the gospel will divide families. You should do everything in your power to unconditionally love and respect those in your family, even if they do not accept the truth of the gospel. But at some level, the gospel is offensive, and if the gospel divides you, so be it. Only make sure that it is the offense of the gospel that causes one to stumble, not your offensive manner of evangelism.

Christians who are afraid to participate in evangelism readily recognize their human weakness and frailty. Instead of denying this weakness, we should embrace the truth that we are indeed powerless to convince others to trust in Christ.

We depend upon the convicting power of the Holy Spirit. Our fears should drive us to our knees in prayer. Satan would have us fearful. God would have us emboldened by unswerving trust in his power to save.”

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