The Hurdles of Evangelism

Sharing Jesus can be intimidating and scary for most. There are a number of fears that can keep us from sharing the hope that we have in Christ with those around us. 

The biggest hurdle to sharing the gospel is lack of belief in it.

We must have a deep, transforming understanding of Christ’s work in our lives. If we haven’t understood the hopeless darkness that we were once walking in, if we haven’t comprehended the dead nature that we once had, we won’t see Christ’s work and sacrifice as something worth sharing. He can’t simply be someone who breaks your drug habit or gives you some sort of blessing. He must be the One whom you rely upon for life. He must be the one who saved you from the death that you deserved for your sinful rebellion.

I don’t want to offend anyone.

The thing is...you will. It is not our intent or our aim to offend, but if people live in darkness and we shine some light into their condition their first response will be to run and hide or to try to turn off the light. People love darkness rather than light because they do not want their wicked deeds to be exposed. Until the Holy Spirit enlightens our hearts to love the light and to hate the darkness our natural default is to run from the light. People are going to be offended but we must be sure that they are offended by the message not our delivery or behavior.

I don’t know enough.

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be rocket scientist or a Biblical scholar in order to share the hope of Jesus. All you need to know about Jesus in order to share Him is the fact that He initiated and rescued you from your sin. He did so of his own power and his own work. Communicating the power of God in your own life to those around you simply requires actually experiencing Christ firsthand. The thing is.. most of us know enough. The problem is that we don’t care enough about those around us. We are often self-focused and self-absorbed so we don’t think of the eternal state of those around us. We should mourn the dead not just live with them. We should pray that the Lord gives us a heart for those who don’t yet know Him.

No slick words or emotional altar calls or intelligent arguments are going to bring a dark heart to life

A Few Helps:

As with anything in life, how we approach people in our interactions is crucial. Prayer is extremely important in asking the Spirit to form compassion and love in your heart for the lost. We need the peace of God to know it is not our work but his. Christ is ultimately in charge of salvation. No slick words or emotional altar calls or intelligent arguments are going to bring a dark heart to life. The Holy Spirit must call and soften and transform the heart of stone into a heart of flesh. The wonderful thing is that he uses us to do that! Our arguments and our tone and our love for those people are means by which the Lord transforms and saves people. Take heart in knowing that the Lord is doing the work and we are simply harvesting.

Be Aware and Engage

Most of us go through our days completely self-focused and unaware of those around us. The only time we notice those around us is when they are driving too slowly in front of us or they use too many coupons in line at the grocery. The first step to sharing Jesus is to engage people. We must be prayerfully aware of those around us. Every day we must ask the Holy Spirit to guide us and put the right people in our paths. We start by simply making eye contact with people and asking them how they are doing. Striking up normal conversations and meeting new people is one of the first steps in sharing Jesus. As we chat with them in line at the store or at the bank or at the gym, we can take genuine interest in their lives. We can get to know what they like and dislike, whether they have families, etc. This give us the opportunity to build trust with them.

Striking up normal conversations and meeting new people is one of the first steps in sharing Jesus.

For more practical tips and steps, RealityLA has an excellent series of short videos on how to share Jesus. Jesus commands His followers to go and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19), but often we as Christians struggle to know how to share the truth effectively and regularly in our daily lives. These short videos help us navigate these issues by sharing seven simple steps for being missionaries in our everyday lives. Each of these videos are approximately two minutes long and offer thoughtful ways to engage our friends, neighbors, coworkers, and family members with the good news of Jesus Christ.

Lastly, we must relax. It is God’s work it is not ours. Success is not explaining, convincing them, leading them in the sinner’s prayer and walking them to church all in one day. We may plant, we may water, and we may occasionally be blessed to harvest, but in any event we are always called to be faithful to speak of Jesus when we can.