Why Is Evangelizing So Hard?
When I first got saved, nobody could stop me from sharing the Gospel. I wanted everybody in the world to feel the love, grace, and forgiveness I was experiencing, and I was willing to risk anything in order to make that happen. I would wander around the cafeteria in High School, sit with a new crowd, and tell them my testimony. Every Friday, I would join my Bible club and go to a train station, give out tracts, and pray with people. I've always seen such power in proclaiming God's word to others!!!
As time went on, it got more and more difficult for me to put myself out there. My momentum got stalled. My attention had been set on other things. I let other areas of life distract me entirely. And though I still whole heartily believe in the Great Commission and am completely committed to Jesus, I have to admit that it just got hard.
I think back to when I lived so abandoned for Christ and one word comes to mind...
It means: Someone who makes a way through the wild country; a pioneer; groundbreaker; trendsetter.
When I first encountered this word, that's how I wanted people to describe me when it came to the Gospel. I wanted people to look at me and know that I was on fire for Jesus and changing lives for Him. Why did I hope that? Because His will is for us have a zealous spirit within us to spread His word. We have a mission to make a way through the unknown and further God’s kingdom in places that hasn’t been touched by it before. We are to introduce non-believers to His goodness, with no expectation of receiving something in return. We must find a way to pave a path to Jesus for others. But...life happened. Now, It’s so easy to see someone that needs to hear about the good news of God, but then turn my back on them because I don't want to deal with the awkwardness.
Before I get into why it's all so burdensome- let's just see what the Word says about this subject...
“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to follow everything I have commanded you”
“Summoning the Twelve, he gave them power and authority over all demons and to heal diseases. Then he sent them to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick….So they went out and traveled from village to village, proclaiming the good news and healing everyone”
“After this, the Lord appointed seventy-two others, and he sent them ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself was about to go….Heal the sick who are there, and tell them ‘The kingdom of God has come near you.’”
“Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace to you. As the Father has sent me, I also send you’” (John 20:21). Just as God sent Jesus into the world to pursue people, He has also sent us.
“How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news”
The Bible has so much more to say about evangelism, but even this little glimpse tells us more than enough: We are called to further God’s kingdom- It's a command- regardless of how we feel.
I have let the enemy scream lies into my head, and I wasn't fully prepared spiritually to stand strong against him. It's sad, but I have believed those lies and let them hold me back from my Kingdom work. Maybe you have too?
Some thoughts circulating my head have been...
If I go up to people, I will turn them off.
I always remember back to my college days when I'd see older guys walking around campus almost forcing bibles upon students. I’m not saying anything is wrong with their version of evangelism, but it made me fear that if I reached out to people about faith, they’d see me in the same light. Pushy, insensitive, obnoxious- I was afraid of being looked at by others, the same way I looked at those guys. So I just avoided evangelism altogether. It was simpler that way.
No one is effected if I choose not to spread the Gospel. God will save who He wants to save anyway.
I heard a sermon where the pastor used the term “birdbox syndrome.” He said, like the movie Birdbox, we are blinded as we walk past people who are in need because we are comfortable being close to Jesus, but aren’t willing to share Jesus with them. Just take off your blindfold and outstretch your hand to them. By getting out of our comfort zone and forgetting our fear, we can actually save someone’s life. It doesn’t have to be a big event, just open up a dialogue where there’s no expectations or check list of things you have to say. Keep it casual and welcoming.' Also, I'd love to add that evangelism is basically like us Christians knowing 9/11 is going to happen, and watching people walk right into the Twin Towers- but not saying anything because we will be looked at as silly or crazy - yet we can save their whole lives. If we truly believe that the Gospel is the real deal, then we should be spreading it like crazy.
I don’t know the bible well enough.
For the longest time, I would feel super stumped on theological questions I would get. So I promised myself that once I knew the bible better, then I would evangelize. I did not want to deal with any other questions or rebuttals anymore. I forget that it's simple, really. The way someone got me to know Christ was not because of their factual evidence but because of their personal testimony and transformation. Practice retelling the story of Jesus’ coming, love, life, sacrificial death, and resurrection. Lay out the basics of how you were changed. The more you wrestle with it, the more comfortable you will become, to the point that it feels natural. Jesus has equipped us to handle it, so just step up and God will act. You will see it happen and the Holy Spirit will give you the words to say.
So why is evangelizing so stinking difficult?
It's because when a believer is prepared and passionate about telling people the good news, the demons arm for battle.
Our minds are attacked. Our days are attacked. Our hearts are attacked. And when we let his doubt cloud us, and when we give the enemy an inch, you can bet that he stretches it to a mile. He wants to make sure that he can stop the Gospel from advancing- and that's why it's so important to be ready to fight this good fight. For way too long, I let him win. I let fear hold me back. But no more. Evangelism is hard for the sole reason that it's a war zone. It's a battle. But if Jesus was nailed to the cross for me, I can sure carry mine for Him.
If you feel this strain too in your own spiritual life, then admit your fear, name it, and stand in faith. As each fear is called into the light of Jesus, it melts, shrinks, and pales in comparison to the power and glory of our Savior. It’s up to us to get involved in taking the Good News to every dark corner, because where there is death, we should speak life, and watch God's power work in us.