Q&A post: How do I overcome the fear of sharing my faith?

fear of evangelism, sharing your faith, Jesus Christ, sharing Christ with others, Toni Birdsong, boldness, sharing the gospel, getting over fear, evangelism online, atheism, atheistby Toni Birdsong
A question I get a lot on the topic of evangelism (the “e” word) is this: Do you ever get scared when you share your faith?

It’s a great question to which I answer: not as much as I used to.

My personal evangelism story begins with going to Ft. Lauderdale during Spring Break with InterVarsity to share the gospel with other college kids fixed on partying (pretty extreme, right? And yes, s-c-a-r-y). Since then, I’ve shared my faith with countless neighbors, co-workers, and strangers that God has put in my path. I’ve shared with large and small groups. I’ve seen God move in both subtle and dramatic ways. Sometimes I’d give myself a 7 in ability. Other times, I’d be exaggerating to give myself a 2. Each time I was faithful.

My fear dramatically decreased when I understood 3 Key Things:

  • The need (and want) of those around me for hope and healing is greater than my need to layout the gospel perfectly.
  • While salvation is a big deal, it’s God’s deal. Salvation is the work of the supernatural Holy Spirit.
  • Experiencing God daily and sharing that testimony is evangelism.

Understanding this verse changed everything for me.

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony;
and they loved not their lives unto the death. Rev. 12:11

When we understand that huge Truth, our evangelism shifts from communicating doctrine to talking freely about life lived out in the presence of Jesus Christ.

No one can take my testimony. There’s not an atheist on the planet that can reason away or argue with the miracles in my life that come from walking faithfully with my God. Jesus is, at this very moment, working His supernatural power in me and through me. He’s changing me for the better—not because He can—but just because He loves me. Each day I wake up it’s that one deep truth of the gospel that continues to blow my mind.

I am the walking, talking, laughing, singing, stumbling, breathing evidence of Jesus Christ in this world. And so are you.

I don’t know that you can ever take all the fear out of evangelism and if someone wrote a book promising that, I wouldn’t buy it. You see, I like depending on God. I like going heart-first into situations where I’m surprised by His mercy and fraught for His power. Fear can be healthy and is often the invitation to “the more” with God; the more amazing prayer; the more amazing revelation of His character; the more amazing peace.

I think we can reduce and control our “e” apprehension by keeping focused more on others and less on self; on God’s skill set and not ours; and sharing the love He has poured out on us personally.

The Apostle Paul reminds us we’re all in this together: I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God grew it. 1 Cor. 3:6

You are never alone. You walk in the presence of The Creator of the universe. God is for you and has anointed you. Let God do the heavy lifting—He’s SO good at it! Your call is simply to tip your hat to the fear and carry on in faithfulness.

What’s your biggest fear in sharing your faith?

Tweet/post this today:
You are never alone in sharing your faith. Let God do the heavy lifting. #LiveSticky

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=671101964 Jennifer Adams Klein

    My biggest fear is that I’ll say the wrong things or untrue things that I think are true (like doctrinal stuff) that pushes people away. But I love love love this post Toni. Thank you. You’re right–its a supernatural thing GOD does drawing people to Himself. He can speak to hearts through clumsy words. One time I remember sharing with someone and they were so blessed by something they totally misunderstood from what I said! It was obviously the Spirit giving them the message HE knew they needed to hear, as opposed to what I thought they needed. You’re right: we are just faithful to speak and let Him do the real work through the words (or even just the loving presence). That verse is so perfect for this. We overcome the enemy by JESUS blood and our faithful testimony of what HE did. Awesome.

  • Anonymous

    @facebook-671101964:disqus . . . God is the ultimate gap filler. We can trust Him to fill people where we fail them . . . time and time again. Thanks, so good to see you Jen! Miss your smiling face! xoxo

  • http://www.uptoknowgood.com Sara

    Thanks for the reminders and the scriptures (“God grew it”) to focus me back on sharing my faith openly. I speak often of God, but sharing the Good News isn’t the same as Name-dropping. My biggest fear is that I will conveniently forget the important urgency to really share Jesus with others. By His grace, I’ll be faithful to see and embrace each opportunity as well.

  • robyn collins

    i love this “The Apostle Paul reminds us we’re all in this together: I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God grew it. 1 Cor. 3:6″in kids ministry we do a lot of planting… and watering… and statistically, we actually have a greater chance at seeing them answer when he calls them to himself than older people.

    i think a primary fear that plagues me when talking to adults about Jesus is struggling with my own inadequacies… (although, when those are most obvious to me – its clear that it’s all Him when i’m obedient to share.)
    but knowing that i won’t be a walking breathing perfect example of christ-like love… can make me fearful. because once you put it out there, you have to act like someone that has Jesus foremost in their life… 

  • Anonymous

    @85992f0c31e69412ba3fbb01bd8ddaa1:disqus I agree – lots of crucial planting in kid’s ministry. I lead Jr. High girls at our church and it’s a very fruitful place to serve (despite people’s apprehension that they can even relate to teens!). 
    Every time I feel like personally giving up on someone (maybe a difficult person in my life) I stop and realize that there was someone praying for me and hoping that I would turn my life around. Jesus is pursuing the people around us, we don’t have to pull any kind of rabbits out of a hat or do things perfectly. He is the gap filler and he fills us in all of our efforts. 

    Remember, the world has been changed by imperfect Christians. Just show up faithful (with all your kinks and doubts) and let God be God through you—perfectly! :)

  • Anonymous

    @b6f6c06b4d4ceeafd4b4ef2ad9bbb16c:disqus … I’m with you. It’s an intentional prayer of mine that God keep my heart alert. There’s a malaise that can easily fall over your heart simply living out life on earth. My goal is to ABIDE in Him (to the best of my ability), then I may have a chance of helping someone outside of myself.

    I love what you said: I speak often of God, but sharing the Good News isn’t the same as Name-dropping. 

    That is super powerful and is ministering to me this very moment!!! Thank you!