Personal evangelism, at least in my circles of influence, seems to be a dreaded word.
At its mention, some people feel queasy, the hairs stand on the back of their neck, people want to secretly leave the room.
On the opening night of our Listening Evangelism Conferences, one participant in Michigan simply said
“Evangelism scares us.”
Why I hate Evangelism
From an expired link included in this earlier EvangelismCoach.org article, I found “Five Reasons Why I Hate Evangelism.”
- It violates the golden rule – most Christians would not want to be approached by a member of another religion the way Christians approach others in evangelistic attempts
- It calls the authenticity of relationships into question – are you my friend because you’re really my friend, or so you can convert me?
- The moment of truth – we think we must identify a “no turning back” point where you pressure someone to make a decision, and if they don’t respond well, that jeopardizes the relationship.
- Asking someone about the Gospel feels like making a pass at them.
- If I like my friends, and want them to continue to be my friends, I have a major incentive NOT to try to evangelize them.
20 Personal Evangelism Fears
These are mostly based on Emotions!
Our emotional baggage associated with “Evangelism” is probably the biggest baggage.
Try answering this question:
“What do you think about when you hear the word Evangelism?” (Reese, 11)
- Door to Door
- Pushy televangelists with funky hairdos asking for money and pushing people down.
- What does “one beggar telling another where to find bread” mean?
- My friend was obnoxious year after year always telling me I needed Jesus.
- It implies other religions are wrong, that Christians are better
Other lists that I have gathered over the years include:
- Fear of Rejection
- To mess up and somebody’s eternity destiny is your fault
- Interrupting somebody’s life
- Losing a friendship
- Fear of offending
- Fear of what others will think about you.
- Stuck with unanswerable questions
- Feeling inadequate
- Being seen as arrogant
- Fear of being kicked out of your family or breaking a family relationship
- Fear of your own weakness, hypocrisies, and inadequacies
- Doubt and not being certain about your own beliefs.
- Fear of being a hypocrite.
- Drive-by Evangelism
As we engage people in conversation, The Centurion Papers gives us a great article about not fearing. Sometimes our gospel conversations can feel unnatural or even forced, but other times, we just have a little fear to overcome. We all feel it at times.
Overcome Your Evangelism Fears
- wasn’t awkward?
- didn’t take a whole lot of guts?
- was as normal as breathing?
What if sharing your faith didn’t make you feel like a Martian?
How would your church grow if you could conquer these fears and confidently talk about your faith?
Read more about how to get my audio CD set to help you over come your evangelism fears.
Fear Chalkboard Image credit: raywoo / 123RF Stock Photo