This is a guest post is from J. Chad Barrett, author and blogger over at Inspiring Evangelism. Good thoughts, Chad!
So I get my thrills from inspiring & training believers to tell the truth about Jesus Christ to others. But nothing compares to the moments I have when I get to share the gospel with someone! However, I used to be terrified of this. I wanna tell you why.
And I want to share with you a couple other reasons others (perhaps you, too) are afraid to evangelize. Actually, it boils down to a few common myths that tend to hinder us from following Christ in obedience and share the gospel with others. The good news (pun intended!) is when these myths are recognized, they can be removed out of our way! So here they are:
Myth #1: I have to know everything about other religions to evangelize to people of other faiths. First of all, who does? While studying other religions/faiths can be helpful in better understanding from where those people come, nothing beats understanding and sharing the clear gospel to people of other faiths.
Years ago, two young men with white shirts and dark ties kept coming to my front door. To better myself in evangelizing them, I studied their Mormon faith. I read the writings from their leaders of the past. We sat and talked for hours as I pointed out discrepancy after discrepancy regarding their faith. As they were trained to do, they had an answer for every one of my comments (albeit, those answers were quite bogus). But when I put aside the arguments and brought out the Gospel of John, they were speechless. One of them asked the question, “So what you’re saying is, according to John, belief is the only requirement for salvation?” He looked at his apprentice. Neither of them said a word. Their training had not equipped them for the truth, and they left in wonder. I pray that their wondering turned into saving faith.
Studying other faiths can be helpful for sure, but nothing compares to the power of the gospel.
Myth #2: I can’t share the gospel as a new Christian. Contrare, mufrare! New believers are passionate. Enthusiasm creates open doors, and a new Christian has lots of enthusiasm. In fact, one of the first things I do with a new Christian is show them how to share their faith with someone. I challenge them to do so ASAP.
I know a young man named Terry who trusted Jesus at a youth retreat I spoke at recently. He’s also a friend on Facebook, and I’ve been keeping up with his posts during the last few weeks. He hasn’t backed away from his excitement and zeal for his new relationship with Christ. And the friends of his past are watching and commenting with curiosity. What’s more is how refreshing to other Christians his zeal is for Christ!
The zeal for Christ from new believers as they share the gospel with others is a breath of fresh air in the local church!
Myth #3: God only uses the “cream of the crop” Christians to spread His message of salvation. Survey says, “Aaaaaaaaaa!” My first comment to this myth is this: God uses me, Chad Barrett.
At Child Evangelism Fellowship of Greater Houston, our forte is training believers to bring the good news of Jesus to children using highly effective methods. During the summer months we train high school students to conduct our 5-Day Clubs. We don’t look for perfect youth to do this. We look for the willing and available redneck kids, jocks, grunge, zany, and just plain nerdy kids who love Jesus and want to be used by Him. This is how we serve the local church. This is how we roll.
Some Christians mistakenly believe they need to clean up their act before they can share the gospel with someone. Here’s my question, “How clean do you have to be?” Pretty subjective, eh? Sure, our lifestyles need to be those that strive for holiness. I’m not condoning that sinful lifestyles are OK to evangelize with, but I can’t condemn those who struggle with things by saying they shouldn’t spread the truth of Jesus.
Remember, God used Moses. And Jonah. And David. And Peter. And Paul. Shall I continue?
Myth #4: I must know all the answers in order to be effective in evangelism. Come on, seriously? I love apologetics. God has raised up some fantastic leaders in this realm–Norman Geisler comes to mind. And studying apologetics is a great way to break down walls that can effectively lead to evangelism. However, this does not mean you cannot be effective in evangelism if you don’t know much about defending your faith.
Here’s what the Apostle Paul said about this, “For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” (1 Cor. 2:2)
It’s great to learn how to give an answer when asked about our faith, and we should strive to do so. But that doesn’t mean we should wait until we have all the answers before we can start evangelizing.
I used to camp on a few of these myths, but I don’t anymore. I hope you won’t, either. If you know that Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead and believing in Him alone saves, then you are ready to evangelize. And you improve in evangelism by evangelizing.
What about you? What myths have you learned to overcome in evangelism? What things do you struggle with in sharing your faith with others?