Publicly sharing your innermost beliefs can be a pretty difficult activity to do, but many Christians are currently doing a pretty good job where evangelism is concerned. Sharing the gospel of Christ requires being honest and vulnerable about your faith journey, and it can be emotionally, intellectually and spiritually exhausting.
Factually, evangelizing or sharing the messages about the gospel of Christ can be really scary.
When argued, the reasons many Christians don’t publicly talk about their faith can seem valid, but this is not to say it should be encouraged because when examined in a bigger picture, considering the mandate the Lord gave us and our ultimate purpose here on earth, we see that these excuses don’t really hold up.
Dandelions, wild invasive yellow weed-flowers, multiply and spread by nature, much like the gospel. All this weed needs to spread is the wind and it does so quickly too, just like the news of Jesus spread wherever he went (Mark 1:21–28, 40–45; 5:1–20). Little wonder that despite Jesus’s best efforts to temper the excitement, his fame and works spread far and wide. It was like a ripe dandelion scattering into the wind, taking root wherever it flew. The gospel travels like that, from person to person, family to family, and community to community.
Did you know that talking about faith is similar to discussing politics? It can be very controversial, divisive and socially awkward. To avoid this, many Christians simply remain silent. Below are some reasons Christians don’t share Christ as much as they can:
1) I’m not smart enough: When Jesus called his disciples to leave all they were doing and follow him, they weren’t known for their brains or their theological prowess or even knowledge of the law. They were pretty ordinary human beings just like you and I. Knowing Jesus is what matters. You are smart enough to tell others about Jesus because you have a friendship with Him. And the closer you get to Him, and the better you know Him, the more you’ll have to say about Him.
2) I don’t know where to start: Rather than getting lost in the thoughts of where to begin when sharing the gospel, why not start by inviting a non-Christian friend to your youth group? Maybe your group has special events that are fun like outreach nights and with interesting Bible studies. At least invite a non-Christian to take in a movie with you and your Christian friends. Then what? Well, when the subject of faith comes up, start with the story of how you became a Christ-follower. Or talk about why you’re a Christian and how God helps you live life. Just be honest, just be real, just be you—and you might be surprised at how much God can use to reach out to others.
3) My friends will make fun of me: Often times, we turn this fear into a bigger problem than it really is. You’d be surprised at how often people will respect you for your beliefs. They might not understand why you don’t drink at parties, or avoid dirty jokes, or why you enjoy Christian fellowship or gossip circles. And you might hear an occasional “fanatic” or “religious nut.” But people often find genuine faith pretty interesting—confusing, but interesting. Many people will even respect your strong convictions. In fact, when we try our best to live and act like Jesus, we “shine like stars” in a world that’s pretty dark already (Philippians 2:15).
4) I’m not a very good Christian: You’re a believer, but you mess up. You don’t pray or read your Bible as much as you should. And you sin. Every day. So why should you tell other people about Christ if you can’t even get it right? Fortunately, being a believer isn’t about getting it right. It’s about God’s love and God’s forgiveness. It’s about his saving grace, Ephesians 2:8-9, John 3:16 and Colossians 2:13.
5) I don’t want to upset anybody: Maybe you’ve been around Christians who are annoying. The way they act—all smug and self-righteous—can make non-Christians angry. We don’t want that. So, we keep quiet. Understandable. But now look at Jesus: People crowded around Him. People wanted to know Him. People wanted to follow Him. Why? He cared about hurting and lost people (Matthew 9:36). He listened carefully and responded to their deepest needs (John 4:1-26). Now, He did occasionally make people mad. He was also really good at ticking off religious know-it-alls. He found self-righteous people annoying, too. But it was the message that ticked people off, not the messenger.
Sometimes the truth hurts. So, it’s okay if people get a little mad sometimes, as long as it’s the true message of Jesus that upsets them and not the obnoxious messenger. Therefore, we must bravely proclaim the Gospel of Christ. There’s no easy way around it. It will be messy, hard, and embarrassing—but it’s essential to maturing in your faith and fulfilling the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20).