How to Overcome Fear in Evangelism
It is a known fact. Many, if not most, come to Christ in the midst of a trial or difficulty of some type. Sensing they are out of control, they are open to listening about the One who is in control. That is why this pandemic we are facing is such a prime opportunity for the gospel.
But unbelievers will never know about Christ unless we speak up not clam up. That means boldness has to overcome fear instead of fear overcoming boldness. Allow me to share four practical and helpful tips in overcoming fear in evangelism.
Tell God First
Don’t let God be the last one you mention your fear to; let Him be the first. God has more than food and finances to offer. He has a generous supply of boldness if we simply ask Him for it. In Acts 4:29, the disciples prayed, “Grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your Word.” Two verses later we are told, “… and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the Word of God with boldness.” Even as you approach a non-Christian to speak to them, you can whisper from your heart, “God, give me boldness.” I can tell you firsthand from my own experience that God answers such a request. In fact, there has not been one time that He did not answer my prayer in that area.
Now Tell Others
Follow the example of Paul the apostle who asked the believers in Ephesus to pray, “that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel.” (Ephesians 6:19) It represents our failure to prioritize if we ask believers to pray for everything else that concerns us, but do not emphasize the need for their prayers that we might be bold in evangelism. I know of a believer that took that advice and experienced a boldness greater than she ever had before the next opportunity she had to share.. As believers spoke to the Lord about her, she experienced a boldness to talk to non-Christians about the Lord.
Learn A Method
Evangelism is a skill to be developed. The development of that skill means that you have to learn a method to talk to anyone anywhere. Having such a method causes evangelism to be a “want to” not a “have to” experience. Knowing how you are going to present the gospel, you can relax and attempt to turn conversation from the physical to the spiritual so you can explain the Good News to them. That method has to be easy to memorize and master. That way you can vary it as you need to but cover the essential elements of our sin — His substitution on a cross, and our need to respond in faith, trusting Christ alone to save us.
Having a method to present the gospel gives you confidence you need in overcoming fear in evangelism.
Step out in obedience
It has been said, “God directs a moving object.” What is usually meant by that is God will do His part but we have to do ours. That is why I prefer to say in evangelism, “God directs an obedient object.” We dare not say, “God, once you help me overcome my fear, I will speak to others about you.” We must instead say, “God, I am going to speak to others about you. Help me overcome my fear.” God honors that obedience and helps you overcome your fear.
But there is more …
So much more can be said, including seven practical tips to overcoming fear. We cover them all in a recent webinar I hosted with EvanTell President, David Souther. We discuss why we are afraid in evangelism and how to be a victor instead of a victim when fear raises its ugly head.
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