The word “evangelism” is just about the most terrifying word to many Christians. We get excited when we hear sermons about our identity or about how much Jesus loves us, but as soon as we hear the word “evangelism” our jaw clenches and we squirm in our seats a little. We picture the guys with the “Burn in Hell” signs or the guys standing on the street corners screaming for everyone to repent. Even if those images aren’t conjured in our minds, the thought of sharing Jesus with a complete stranger causes us to tense up. Why does the idea of sharing the best news ever scare us so much?
I think part of it is that evangelism, whether we like it or not, has been connected to the guys carrying the signs. We may be ashamed that our fellow Christians could be so cruel to the ones Jesus came to save. We don’t want the name of Jesus to be connected with the hatred that some have shown. Another part of it may be that “religion” isn’t necessarily the topic people want to discuss, and sharing Jesus with people could get downright awkward. For some of us, me included, the idea of striking up a conversation with a complete stranger, whatever the topic, is akin to scraping nails on a chalkboard. Or maybe, it’s a combination of all three of these things.
Whatever our struggle is with evangelism, sharing Jesus with others is one of the greatest privileges we have as Christians. God doesn’t HAVE to use us to share the Gospel, but He invites us to share it! The fact that Jesus brings us from death to life through the power of the cross is the absolute BEST news we could ever tell, and we GET to bring that news to people. Imagine someone paid off all bills for everyone in your neighborhood. Everyone’s mortgage, car payment, student loans, EVERYTHING is paid for. Wouldn’t you be jumping out of your seat waiting to tell someone? Well, we have even better news for the world to know. Our mistakes, our wrongs, our past, everything that we have ever done to tear us from the goodness of God is paid for. We are taken from death to life through Jesus!
Now, if I’m honest, knowing this truth doesn’t necessarily take away the fear and insecurity that comes with sharing the Gospel. I know it’s a privilege. I know that God’s grace is more than I could ever deserve. But talking to people about Jesus can still sometimes be scary. But the thing I’ve found amazing in sharing my faith is the power of saying “Yes.” When I say, “Yes, I’ll share my faith,” even though it’s hard, seeds of truth are planted. People get to hear the Good News about Jesus. I get to set good examples of evangelism, instead of the “Burn in Hell” signs. I get to share the best news ever.
So, despite all the excuses, despite all the bad examples of evangelism, despite the fear of talking with people, will you say yes? Someone who many never think about Jesus, will walk away from a conversation with you thinking about Him because you said “Yes” to sharing your faith.