I recently received a question from a student that demanded a practical answer. The question: How can I gain courage to share my faith? My answer is first to define the question. By courage I assume first that the question is one regarding confidence. Secondly I am assuming the faith is a reference to ones’ faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Allow me to reframe the question and then offer some quick practical (and experiential) wisdom… How can I gain confidence in sharing The Gospel with unbelievers?
Here’s my three C’s to personal evangelism.
- Clarity. No one will dispute this: We learn about the Gospel from the Bible. I think this is a principle that goes with any subject, the better you understand the more confident you are in explaining. The logic is simple. The better you know your Bible the more confident you will be in sharing your faith in the Gospel with unbelievers. This is because sharing your faith requires explaining your faith. As clarity increases so does confidence. Therefore, know your Bible and know it well.
- Conversation. I’m not talking about conversing with your friends. That is necessary of course to explain the Gospel but I am speaking of a lost art here. That is praying for the lost. EM Bounds once wrote, “To talk to men about God is a good thing. Talking to God about men is a greater thing.” Here is the point. You can give the most intellectually appealing and emotionally charged Gospel presentation ever but if the Holy Spirit is absent then it will just be a persuasive speech and nothing more. If you want to see the conversion of unbelieving friends then ask The Holy Spirit to saturate your conversations and Gospel presentations. Conversing with God will lead to confidence and effectiveness in personal evangelism.
- Commitment. I say this because I think most people approach evangelism wrongly. Don’t just wait around for the “golden opportunity” where all the dominoes line up and all you have to say is “Jesus” and someone gets saved. I’m not saying God won’t work in that way but I do believe that spontaneous evangelism is a method that He rarely employs. Instead of hoping for spontaneous “divine appointments” (which do happen sometimes) love your life strategically for the spread of the Gospel message. Perhaps this means that you live in a different neighborhood for the sole purpose of reaching unbelievers. Maybe this means that you invite your neighbors whom you can’t stand over for coffee. Not because you need the company but because they need the Gospel. Instead of sitting by your “goofy best friend” in first block maybe you sit by the unchurched, the Muslim, the _______ (whoever the unbelievers is). I’m not saying that you won’t ever have a divine appointment, I’m just saying you only get one earthly life. Use that life strategically for the expansion of the Kingdom and for the eternal glory of our great God.
Clarity. Converse. Commit. I recommend it because it is biblical and because I have learned it real life evangelism. My prayer is that it increases your confidence so that we can take the greatest message ever given and share it to the ends of the earth.