Though I have shared the gospel message many times, I can still be afraid to share my faith with others. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in that fear. I’ve heard many others express that same anxiety. Here are some reasons we might be afraid to share our faith and what to do about it.
- I worry that it won’t be well received. I’ve actually had very few people who were offended that I tried to share the gospel with them. That doesn’t mean they all trust the Lord when I witness. It just means that people are frequently more interested than you might think. Often, I ask for permission to share the gospel by saying something like, “Can I tell what the bible says about how you can have a relationship with God?” or something like that. A few say “no” to that question. But many people are willing to at least hear the message.
- I worry that I won’t be able to answer their questions. It is true that I can’t always answer all the questions people ask about faith. Sometimes I have to say, “I don’t know” or “Let me find out more about that.” But I don’t have to know everything about everything to be able to share what I know. And, all questions are not the same. Some questions people ask are more theoretical. Some are excuses. Some are genuine questions that need to be dealt with carefully. Often I find myself saying, “I don’t know the answer to that fully and will need to get back with you on it. But can I tell you what the bible says about how you can know Jesus?” If possible, I want people to be able to hear the basic gospel message fully even if I can’t fully answer every question they might ask.
- I worry about what others will think of me. Let’s face it. This one can be a big part of my fear of sharing the gospel. After all, like many of you, I can be something of a people pleaser. But God reminds me that he wants to use me to be his ambassador. In other words, my primary thought should be on what he thinks and not on what someone else thinks. And, do note that telling others is the natural result of what we believe. We are beggars who have found the bread of life. It is only natural that we want other beggars to find that same bread. While we can’t make them eat, it is our compassion that leads us to tell them about this life-giving bread. I want to worry less about pleasing others and more about pleasing my Lord. I should be kind and caring and loving in my sharing. But my primary focus should be on doing what the Lord wants me to do and not on what others think of me.
- I worry that I might mess up and am unsure of how to make the gospel clear to them. I don’t want to add confusion to those already living in spiritual confusion. This is one of the reasons why a sound method of sharing the gospel is helpful and healthy. Learning a solid method can keep me on track and help me to avoid confusing those who are hearing the gospel. There are dozens of great tools for sharing the gospel. Whether is the Romans Road or 3 Circles or Can We Talk or any other biblically sound method, these tools can help you to share the gospel in an understandable way. A solid methodology can help me to share the gospel clearly and to overcome the fear of not knowing how to share.
If you have had any of these fears, or others, you are not alone. But, with God’s help, you can be a witness of God’s grace to others. Don’t let fear keep you from following the Lord’s command to share the gospel. And don’t let it keep you from the joy of learning that God uses people like us- fears and all- to accomplish his purposes.