Over the past 30+ years of training Christians to share the Gospel. I’ve heard tons of excuses about why believers don’t share. Here are the 10 most common:
1. “I don’t know how.”
Many Christians lack what we at Dare 2 Share call “Gospel fluency.” In other words, they don’t know how to articulate the basic Gospel message in a clear and compelling way. Perhaps this five-minute video will help.
2. “I’m afraid of rejection.”
This excuse falls short because it’s not really you they’re rejecting but Christ. Here’s how Jesus put it in Luke 10:16:
‘Anyone who accepts your message is also accepting me. And anyone who rejects you is rejecting me. And anyone who rejects me is rejecting God, who sent me.’
3. “It’s not my job.”
So many Christians think it’s the job of the pastor or the evangelist to do all the evangelism, but Ephesians 4:11-12 corrects that stinkin’ thinkin’! It makes it clear that it’s the pastors’ and evangelists’ job to equip God’s people to do the work of the ministry, including evangelism.
So Christ Himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors, and teachers, to equip His people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.
4. “Evangelism is awkward.”
We have a saying at Dare 2 Share: “Awkward is awesome.” It’s in the crucible of the awkward where lives are changed. Think about all of the awkward conversations Jesus had throughout His earthly ministry (with the rich young ruler, the woman at the well, Peter, various Pharisees, etc.). He was the Prince of Peace and the King of Awkward. To be like Jesus is to lovingly embrace the awkward and engage in challenging conversations of the soul.
5. “I’m not ready for hard questions.”
There’s a misconception that we have to have all the apologetic answers before we can share the Gospel. If that were true, none of us could share the Gospel! If you don’t have the answer to a difficult question, simply say: “I don’t know but I’ll try to find out.” Then go do some research in your Bible and on sites like gotquestions.org. Then continue the conversation with that person. And remember the promise of Jesus in Matthew 10:19:
‘…do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say.’
6. “My life doesn’t match my message.”
Well, two things: 1) None of our lives fully match our message. Jesus is the only one whose life ever did. 2) Choose to yield yourself fully to God right now, and then share the Gospel. Maybe even let that person you’re sharing the Gospel with know that you’re seeking to live for Him now. Philippians 1:27 tells us:
Above all, you must live as citizens of Heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ.
7. “Christianity has a stigma.”
It’s interesting that there are two definitions of stigma: 1) a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person. 2) (in Christian tradition) marks corresponding to those left on Jesus’s body by the Crucifixion, said to have been impressed by divine favor on the bodies of St. Francis of Assisi and others. May the mark of disgrace that has been put on Christianity by badly behaving Christians be replaced by the “stigma” not of literal marks on our body but of us picking up our crosses; dying to ourselves; and living a fully renewed, Spirit-filled life.
8. “I don’t know how to naturally bring it up.”
How do you naturally bring the Gospel up? If someone says, “It’s hot in here,” do you say: “It’s hot in Hell too! Let me tell you about it…”? Please don’t. At Dare 2 Share, we train people how to Ask – Admire – Admit. Ask the person questions, transitioning to spiritual ones, such as: Do you go to church anywhere? or How can I pray for you? or Do you have any spiritual beliefs? Then admire what you can about what they believe (as Paul did in Acts 17:16-34 with the pagan philosophers in Athens). Finally, admit that you need Jesus too by sharing your own story of redemption.
9. “It doesn’t seem that important.”
There is Hell to pay for those who don’t trust in Jesus. Jude 23 reminds us that we should “snatch others from the fire and save them.” Imagine with me a long line of all the people you’ve encountered and ever will encounter in your life who don’t know Jesus. Imagine that line moving slowly and steadily toward a cliff. At the base of that cliff is a lake of fire that will burn forever and torment them forever if they don’t hear and believe the Gospel. That’s the snatching we must do. Sound like I’m making it up? Listen to the words of the apostle John describing Judgment Day:
Anyone whose name was not found written in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire.Revelation 20:15
How do they get their name written in the Book of Life? By hearing and believing the Gospel. How will they hear and believe? Someone must tell them (see Romans 10:13-15). That’s why God has placed you in their lives. Sounds pretty important to me.
10. “I don’t want to be made fun of.”
Jesus was made fun of. He was mocked by the crowds, tortured by the Romans, and, soon after, crucified for our sins. He suffered the ultimate shame and disgrace on the cross. And Hebrews 13:12-13 invites us to join Him:
And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through His own blood. Let us, then, go to Him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace He bore.
When we’re made fun of for sharing the Gospel, we’re tasting the disgrace of Christ. This is an honor. The apostles knew this. After they were flogged, the apostles:
…went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name.Acts 5:41
If the apostles could rejoice when they were flogged with whips, we can rejoice when we’re made fun of with words. We, too, can rejoice because we’ve been “considered worthy to suffer shame for His name.”
There are no truly valid reasons to avoid evangelism. No excuse will stand up before the Judgment Seat of Christ. So, let’s get to sharing the Good News of Jesus!