Evangelism. Most Christians are well familiar with the great commission. It is no great secret that the gospel was meant to be shared. After all, if no one shared it, you and I would be counted amongst the lost like everyone else who does not receive salvation. So sharing Jesus is good, and it is necessary. For a lot of us it can be uncomfortable, not just for the sharer, but the one listening to it. People feel hesitant about sharing the gospel because they don’t like the awkwardness that comes with it. It is okay to admit that when it comes to sharing the gospel, you’d rather play it safe. How can we make evangelism more comfortable?
Some have attempted to make evangelism more comfortable by eliminating the uncomfortable parts of out of so that there is less room for rejection. But that isn’t the gospel at all. It does no one any good to tell them about Jesus if you don’t tell them why they need him. So how do we make sure we share the whole truth and nothing but the truth, but in a way that makes us more willing to share Jesus with others? It is a matter of dispelling a few misconceptions about sharing the gospel you may be carrying with you when you don’t need to.
Make Evangelism More Comfortable By Not Going On The Offensive
One of the biggest mistakes that well-meaning Christians make in sharing Jesus is finding an interested person and backing them into a corner to hammer them with Jesus. We’ve all seen it happen, and maybe we’ve done it ourselves. The result is someone who is like a cat clawing their way out of a situation and you feeling beat up and discouraged.
There are a couple of things you need to understand about people in general. They don’t want to be told they are doing it wrong. Do you? No one likes anyone to tell them they are doing things wrong, and that the person telling them is the one to straighten them out. If you start sharing the gospel like that, you will get a defensive person who is suddenly not as interested in hearing what you have to say as they are defending why they think you are wrong.
There are ways to share Jesus that do not come across as you being the know-it-all to set them straight. People relax when they are asked questions and invited to think about new ideas rather than you telling them that your views are the only way to think. The best example of someone who used questions to get people to think differently was none other than Jesus Himself.
- “Who do you say that I am?”
- “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
- “Why are you trying to kill me?”
- “But since you don’t believe what he wrote (Moses), how are you going to believe what I say?”
These are just a handful of pointed questions Jesus had for His followers, as well as those who opposed what He was doing. Asking questions puts the listener in the drivers’ seat of the conversation. That sounds contrary to winning people over for Christ, but telling them what to do will yield nothing. Yelling at them that they have to believe in Jesus or go to hell also is practically fruitless. Getting them to think a different way by asking questions, and allowing them to ask you questions in a non-confrontational manner, is a much better way to have a discussion that invites open-minded thinking. If you want your listener to relax, put the hammer down and invite an honest conversation to happen instead.
Rome Wasn’t Built In A Day, And Neither Is Evangelizing
We make a big mistake when we put ourselves in the position of thinking it is all up to us to get someone to say the sinner’s prayer right now just because they decided to engage us in a conversation about Jesus. The change of heart comes from the Holy Spirit alone, not any crafty words we could come up with. That should help us relax in knowing it is not up to us to make anything happen.
Thinking that conversion is up to us puts pressure on us to see something happen. This makes the listener feel anxious and uncomfortable. The goal is not to get someone to ask Jesus into their hearts so we will leave them alone. Since this is the case, we know that anything that happens in a conversation about salvation is just about us being used by the Holy Spirit. Maybe salvation happens for them that day or maybe five years later. Either way, God thanks us for our willingness, not new believers earned in some weird evangelistic merit system.
Leave the conversation open-ended. Make it possible and welcoming to return to the conversation about salvation if they are not convinced today. You will gain a friend and a way to help your friend understand the things of God over time. You will be able to relax about sharing Jesus with them, too.
Let Us Help You Have Better Conversations With People
Ichthus VerseWear was created to help people like you have better conversations about Jesus with the people you encounter every day. Our evangelistic t-shirts invite questions. That is your opportunity to share Jesus. We have recently launched a 6-week teaching series for small groups and youth groups interested in doing an evangelism project. Want to know more? Contact us today.
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