Why you should be facing your fear of evangelism
by Ed Arcton
Three reasons to share the gospel.
Sometimes, life can be really scary.
Whether it’s a strange noise at night, an upcoming exam or a story on the news, there are many things that regularly confront us that can make us afraid. Our hands sweat, our bodies shake and our hearts race. It’s not much fun!
There’s a common expression about fear that you’ve probably heard: “face your fears!”
Sometimes, it’s not good to intentionally try and face your fears. No one should intentionally drive recklessly in order to face their fear of having a car accident! Sadly, because we live in a broken world, we do often experience the horrible things we are afraid of, like violence, death, pain and sickness. It’s not the way God wanted the world to work, and we can take comfort in the fact that he’s doing something about it, but it does happen.
But in many situations, it is true that it’s good to face your fears. Going to the dentist, having injections or doing tests are not always pleasant, but these things are important for our health and development.
Afraid of evangelism?
Something many Christian teens are afraid of is evangelism. We’ve heard before that it’s important for us to tell our friends the gospel, but when the opportunities come up, our hands sweat, our bodies shake and our hearts race. Fear of judgement, isolation or losing our reputation takes over our bodies and brains and we feel like running away and hiding!
But this fear, like fear of the dentist, is a fear that we should face! In fact, the Bible says it is a fear we must face!
Why must we face our fear of evangelism?
There are three key reasons you must face your fear of evangelism…
Jesus says. Just before Jesus went back to heaven after his resurrection, he said to his disciples, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” ALL authority has been given to Jesus, so when he says GO, we must go!
It’s how people become Christians. How did you become a Christian? I bet someone – maybe one of your parents, or maybe a friend or youth leader – spent time talking to you about Jesus. If you’ve been a Christian your whole life, then you were brought up being told about Jesus! Without being told the gospel by another person, it’s very hard for people to become Christians. Yes, God is powerful and may lead non-believers to pick up a Bible and understand their need for repentance without ever talking to anyone, but more often than not God uses Christians to make other Christians. If you don’t face your fear of evangelism, then you’re not letting God use you as a way to bring people into a relationship with him!
It will help you grow. Whenever I’ve shared the gospel with a friend, I’ve found myself growing significantly through these experiences. Articulating your beliefs and answering questions forces you to think critically about your understanding of different elements of the Bible and theology. Could you answer a question about predestination? How about the role of the Holy Spirit? Doing evangelism will show you the gaps in your knowledge and you’ll grow in knowledge and understanding as you uncover the answers.
You’ll also grow in your dependence on God. When you’re afraid of evangelism but you do it anyway, you’ll be leaning on God to get you past your fears. When I’ve done evangelism I’ve often been overwhelmed by how much God has worked through me, helping me turn my knowledge into coherent sentences that I can’t believe are coming out of my mouth! And when that happens, I learn more about God’s goodness and why I should be clinging to him. He is fully dependable!
Now that you know WHY you should face your fear of evangelism, check back soon for Part 2 of this article to find out HOW!
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