Over the course of the last 30 years of ministry, I’ve had the privilege of training millions of believers how to share the Gospel. During that time I’ve also talked to countless Christians about roadblocks and reasons why so many of them struggle to evangelize. I’ve narrowed these reasons down to 5. Here they are in no particular order:
“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:17
In the midst of the mayhem of life, many Christians focus their eyes on the “here and now” of this world as opposed to the “there and then” of eternity. In the midst of all the craziness of work, school, family, fun, and even church, it’s easy to forget how important evangelism is.
Sharing the Gospel with others is the primary means God has ordained of rescuing them from the Hell they are headed to (Jude 1:23) and they hell they may be going through (Matthew 9:36) apart from Christ.
Heaven and Hell are real. Those who die without Christ will spend an eternity in Hell. Those who put their faith in Jesus, based on His finished work on the cross, will spend an eternity in Heaven. May this reality remind us to “fix our eyes” on what is unseen and inspire us to take evangelism seriously.
“Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the Gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly as I should.” Ephesians 6:19-20
Evangelism is scary. I’ve been sharing the Gospel with others for 45 years now, and I still get nervous every time I open my mouth to declare it. Even the great apostle Paul got nervous. That’s why he asked the Ephesians to pray for him as he shared the Gospel!
But, I believe a little fear is good for you when it comes to evangelism, as long as it reminds you to depend on the Holy Spirit as you share Christ with others. The Holy Spirit is where our evangelism power source resides (Acts 1:8). He’ll give us the boldness we need to share the Gospel with those around us, as we fully depend on Him.
When it comes to evangelism, we must face our fears, count the cost, trust the Holy Spirit, and then open our mouths to “declare it fearlessly,” as we should.
“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.” 1 Corinthians 15:3-4
Many Christians don’t share the Gospel because they don’t know what the Gospel is. In 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, Paul trained the Corinthian believers in the core message of the Gospel creed he, himself, had been trained to memorize. This pre-Pauline creed laid out the basic message of the Gospel. Paul trained the believers of Corinth to memorize it. This created what I have come to nickname “Gospel fluency” for these believers. When you’re fluent in the Gospel message, it’s much easier to explain.
For the last 30 years we, at Dare 2 Share, have used a G.O.S.P.E.L. acrostic to help teenagers and adults alike gain Gospel fluency. When someone has mastered the message of the Gospel, it’s much easier for them to share it effectively with those around them. Think of these six sentences like six chords on a guitar. Master six chords, and you can play almost any popular song on the guitar. Master these six sentences, and you can master sharing the Gospel clearly and effectively.
God created us to be with Him.
Our sins separate us from God.
Sins cannot be removed by good deeds.
Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again.
Everyone who trusts in Him alone has eternal life.
Life with Jesus starts now and lasts forever.
A version of this acrostic is in 16 languages on our Life in 6 Words app. If you can swipe and read, you can share the G.O.S.P.E.L. using this amazingly effective and completely free app. I encourage you to download and use it. But whether you do or not, memorize this simple acrostic that clearly lays out the whole story of the Good News of Jesus!
It will give you Gospel fluency, which is necessary for consistently effective evangelism.
4. Bad theology
“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” Romans 10:14
I have a lot of reformed friends. I know a lot of reformed preachers. The vast majority of them believe in and promote the importance of evangelism. But there’s a small percentage of them who vastly undervalue the strategic need for evangelism because, after all, according to this small crew of ultra-Calvinists, the elect will be saved with or without our evangelistic efforts.
But it’s interesting to me that the great apostle Paul, right in the middle of his classic treatise on God’s sovereignty in evangelism (Romans 8-11), takes time to remind his readers that the lost will not hear the Gospel unless someone preaches to them. He asks: “How will they hear without someone preaching to them?” The indication is that they will not.
It’s God’s responsibility to save the lost (Jonah 2:9). It’s our responsibility to share the Gospel (Matthew 28:19). It’s the lost person’s responsibility to believe the Gospel (Romans 1:20). Quit fixating on God’s responsibility in evangelism and take care of yours. Your job and my job is to share the Gospel with our lives and our lips. Don’t worry about God’s responsibility. He will take care of his. You take care of yours.
5. Lack of proximity
“Go and make disciples of all nations.” Matthew 28:19
If we have a Christian family, work with a lot of Christians, go to Christian Bible studies, and hang out with only Christian friends, we may have, what I’ve come to call a proximity problem. Jesus was accused again and again of being a friend of sinners (Matthew 11:19). He went to sinner parties, talked to sinful people, hung out with the least and the lost…and reached many of them with His shocking message of grace.
That’s one of the reasons I do a lot of work in coffee shops. It gives me proximity to the unreached. That’s one of the reasons I strike up conversations with random strangers at the airport. That’s one of the reasons I ask servers at restaurants if there’s anything we can pray about for them when we pray before our meal. That’s one of the reasons I go out monthly with my daughter and her group of friends to reach into the city with the hope of Christ on Go Share Day.
You too must find your proximity place. Where can you be in proximity to the yet-to-be-rescued so you can begin to build a relationship and share the hope of Jesus with them? Maybe it’s at work or the gym or a coffee shop. Wherever it is, find your place and start sharing the Good News.
Which of these reasons have kept you from sharing the Gospel? Identify it, and then crucify it.
Start sharing your faith. If you need some help, click here. Training believers to share the Gospel with boldness, wisdom, and love is exactly what we do. And we would love to train you too.
Sharing the Gospel is easier than you think and more important that you can imagine. Start today!