Evangelism has been made out to be like a dirty word. We’re not allowed to say it if we want to be “cool,” and if we’re upfront about doing it, people assume the worst. I’m not sure when it happened but the term has come to represent this weird stereotype of somebody who is aggressive, heartless, and rude.
The problem is this: evangelism is a part of being a Christian. It’s not for those who have reached a level of spiritual maturity far above all others. It’s straight up just one of the basic foundational things we need to do as Christians. Not that we should do it just because we feel obliged, but that we should do it because we love Christ, who has called us to love others. We don’t evangelize because we want others to feel bad and ashamed, we do it because we want them to know the same freedom and truth that we know. I’m reading a book that includes a great quote by Ken Wilson:
“Most Christians think prayer and evangelism are electives for those wanting ‘advanced placement courses.’ They’re not. They are core courses, required of every Christians.”
We hate confrontation and we hate to be rejected, but it’s actually pretty selfish if we don’t go out and share the good news. We’re not living up to our potential and our calling if we don’t give our very best or do our part in the Great Commission.
I’m awful at this. I may test as an extrovert, but I hate talking to strangers and I hate even more talking to people I know about things that they might reject me for. However, what I hate most is the honest truth is that, sometimes (most times), I’m ashamed of the gospel. I’m ashamed of what people will say in response to me (or about me) when I straight up talk about Jesus and His saving grace. I’m afraid to tell people that the Holy Spirit dwells within me, and through the blood of Jesus Christ I have eternal life with Him in heaven because it’s a pretty big deal. Being in campus ministry doesn’t make this easier; Having it be my professional occupation doesn’t suddenly remove the fear. It’s an evil thing that I feel persecuted before I even open my mouth, it really is.
So how do I over come this? How do I challenge you to overcome this? JUST DO IT. (sorry Nike…)
The only way to overcome this is to repent, ask for courage, and speak boldly knowing that God will be there. This is something we need to do when we’re training disciples. We need to learn to evangelize right from the start, and we need to be forced out of our comfort zones. How else will we ever make new disciples? If we’re always comfortable than we’re never growing.