When I go to the mall to do evangelism by myself it can be a very intimidating experience! There are thoughts that run through my head such as, "This person on the bench is going to think it's strange if I approach them", "They aren't going to want to talk about religion", or "They'll be frightened off if I approach them with my question about eternity!" Many times these types of thoughts prevent me from approaching anyone at all about the gospel, and I end up walking around in circles (Silly, I know!) battling fear, intimidation, and hesitation. Perhaps these fears could actually happen, and indeed I have seen responses from some people that were perfectly in line with these fears. However,these are not the typical responses that I get when I approach a random stranger to talk about eternity. More than half of the people I approach are intrigued and want to speak further on the matter, or they are appreciative that someone showed an interest in their spiritual state. Even still, these types of thoughts almost run constantly through my head when I make a deliberate attempt to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with others. There are some keys that I've found that help me to get over these fears almost instantly, and I would like to share those keys.
Key # 1 : Initiate Immediately.
As soon as you have it in your mind to speak with someone about the gospel of Jesus Christ, do it and don't hesitate! The longer you hesitate and stall on trying to decide who you approach, the more opportunity your fears, intimidation, and hesitation have to hold you back. Don't let them. Proverbs tells us that the fear of man is a snare. As soon as you make that first approach it will kill or alleviate your fears, and help you to become bolder.
Key # 2 : Initiate Indiscriminately.
Don't judge a person's receptiveness to the gospel based on their age, sex, skin color, clothing or body art. It is easy for me to think that older men who are in their 40's or 50's will not be receptive to the gospel at all, but it turns out that I have had some of my best conversations with older men. In the parable about the farmer Jesus failed to tell us that the farmer inspected all of the soil before scattering the seed!! Just go for it! The gospel message is for everyone. Let God work on the growth and receptiveness!
Key # 3 : Trust The Message's Impact.
The gospel is not a message that needs to be made palatable, acceptable or believable before anyone will embrace it folks! It's also not our responsibility to make someone accept and believe its claims (I know that's a temptation in our context). That is God's Job! It is written somewhere that "to those who are called..... it [the gospel] is the power of God and the wisdom of God". The message is powerful in of itself, and all we have to do is communicate it clearly, deliberately, and with conviction. God will do the rest!
Key # 4 : Rejoice In Rejection.
Lets face it. Rejection will come when we attempt to share the gospel with strangers, and even family and friends for that matter. Remember that rejection can encourage us to persevere in spreading the message and challenges us to trust God more in our efforts. Not to mention, that Jesus also tells us that we are rewarded in heaven when we are rejected for his name. This should give us plenty of reason to be happy when we experience rejection. It comes with the territory of those who follow Jesus. You also will find that rejection oftentimes doesn't hurt as bad as you think it will. Be happy when rejected and keep going!
We of course cannot forget prayer which is one of greatest keys in breaking through our fears, but I thought it was best to emphasize some of the other practical things we can do get past our fears.
Until Next Time!