Frankly, I Am Bad at Evangelism!
Very few Christians would claim to be good at evangelism. And probably none of them would say they always do evangelism well. Yes, some Christ-followers are more effective than others. And some are more at ease in sharing the gospel than the rest of us. But “bad” and “good” are relative terms and regardless of how bad we may be, or think we are, we can always improve. We can always become more comfortable in telling people about Jesus. We can all become more effective—effective enough to see God do some amazing things in the lives of unsaved friends and relatives, and even initial contact acquaintances.
Here are three simple suggestions for going from “bad” to “better” and maybe eventually even to “good.”
1. Get Some Training.
As followers of Jesus Christ, we ALL need to be equipped for ministry. The Apostle Paul, in Ephesians 4:11-12, informed believers at Ephesus (and us too!) that God has given us Equippers—people gifted “to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.”
The Greek work (katartizo) translated “equip” (in English) carries the idea of mending a fishing net that is broken or rent or setting an out-of-place bone back in its proper place. The end result of katartizo is to prepare something (or someone) to function properly and effectively and productively.
So, by leading Paul to choose this word, God was telling us that we need equipping-help to become good at doing “works of service” for Him. And one of the kinds of equipper-gifted people God has given us is evangelists, men and women who are capable of training God’s people to share the gospel effectively.
We just need to find those evangelism Equippers and make ourselves available for them to help us develop more competence and confidence in telling the “For God so loved the world...” story.
2. Use Resources that Match the Training.
But, equipping involves more than training. To be fully equipped also means to be “outfitted” with the right kind of equipment. Imagine an athlete who has been trained well but has not been given the appropriate equipment for the sport he or she was trained to participate in. That thought can conjure up all sorts of funny (or tragic) mental images!
We like to think of training and equipment (resources) as going together like a hand and glove—training is the hand, but resources are the glove. And the glove, to be most effective, needs to fit the hand. The better the fit, the greater the possibility that you will be properly equipped and successful in ministry.
As you look for someone who can train you to share the gospel, also look for evangelism resources that:
- Clearly and sufficiently make the gospel of Jesus Christ clear and simple.
- Are simple for you to use.
- Match the training that you have received.
The “hand and glove” concept is what motivated us at Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship to create a training program that “fleshed out” into a set of resources that perfectly fit what has been learned in the training. Thus, Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship training is not an abstract set of lectured-principles that leaves you to search for appropriate ministry tools. Good Soil provides an entire“family” of evangelism and discipleship resources that help you implement what you learn in the Good Soil Basic Seminar.
3. Start Simple and Safe.
If you feel that you are not good at evangelism and are nervous about telling people the good news about Jesus, don’t jump in over your head. Start simple, start safe. Start with people that you feel safe talking to. Ask questions. Share your personal faith story. Don’t hesitate to say, “I don’t know but I will find the answer to your question,” when asked a tough question that you are not ready to handle.
One of the compliments Good Soil trainers have often been given, regarding the Good Soil Basic Seminar, is that the training and resources make evangelism simple. Anyone can do it. It all starts with conversations on “human commonality” topics—safe discussions around things that we all (Christians and non-Christians) have in common.
For starters, we recommend that you read Gaining Ground with Good Soil—it’s a training seminar in a book. And it’s not just any book, it’s a very colorfully illustrated book in a narrative format. It’s a story of four people who went from bad to good to great in sharing God’s good news with unbelievers.
Then, to really strengthen your “hand” at evangelism, attend a Good Soil Basic Seminar. Like many others who have participated in this training, you will going away realizing that you don’t have to be “bad at evangelism.”
This Personal Evangelism and Discipleship page provides a lot more information that will be helpful as you ask, “How can I share my faith at work?”