Evangelism is not always easy. After all, we fight a spiritual battle (Eph. 6:12) as we talk to people enslaved and blinded by Satan (2 Cor. 4:4, Eph. 2:1). Only through the Holy Spirit’s working through us and in them can the battle be won.
But practically speaking, there are also times we make evangelism more difficult than it needs to be. Here are four things that may compound our struggles in evangelism and the solutions!
- We assume that others are not interested in talking about the Lord. Granted, some are completely closed to anything spiritual and sometimes even hostile, but these individuals don’t represent most. I’ve met far more who are interested in talking about spiritual matters than I’ve met who are not. Don’t approach people thinking, “You probably don’t want to talk about the Lord, do you?”
Solution: Remember, God honors obedience. As we’re faithful to Him in evangelizing, we’ll meet those whom the Holy Spirit has prepared.
- We get uncomfortable discussing spiritual topics with unbelievers. Ever listen to a nervous speaker? He makes the audience extremely uncomfortable. If, on the other hand, your attitude says, “I can talk about the Lord as easily as I talk about the weather,” you encourage others to relax and talk freely.
Solution: Relax. Free up instead of freezing up. You’ll be surprised at the natural transitions you’ll come up with.
While flying back from a speaking engagement in Oregon, I enjoyed talking with a man returning from an Air Force assignment in Japan. He mentioned the beautiful temples he saw there. “I’m interested in spiritual things,” I said. “What were the temples like?” That led to a discussion of the gospel.
A man in whose home I was visiting told me of his dad’s passing. I expressed my sympathy and told him how difficult it had been for me to see my dad go. I then told him that some things I had learned in the spiritual area were a lot of comfort to me. He was most willing to listen.
There is no set way to turn a conversation to spiritual things, but the more times you do it, the more ways you learn there are.
- We never learn how to present the gospel. Those consistent in evangelism have mastered a method for talking to people about Christ.
Solution: When you know how to present the gospel, you can relax, enjoy the conversation, and often turn it into a spiritual discussion in which we can share the good news of Jesus Christ.
- We act as if God is our enemy in evangelism. “Of course, He’s not!” you protest. But sometimes by the way we approach evangelism you would think He is. We step out to evangelize with the idea that if we blow it, He’s extremely disappointed in us.
Nothing could be further from the truth. God loves us because of His Son’s performance, not ours.
Solution: If you do a poor job in handling an evangelistic conversation, take the opporutinity to learn from it so you'll do a better job next time. And remember, God still loves you just the same.
Evangelism isn’t always easy. Let’s make sure, though, that we are not making it more difficult than it is.