If you want to heap great shame on most evangelicals just say, “Tell me about the last person you shared Jesus with.”
Most of us know why we should share our faith with unbelievers:
• We obey the most basic commands in the Bible when we share the gospel.
• Evangelism is the means for unbelievers being saved.
• We experience a deeper faith as we evangelize.
Though we value evangelism, very few of us are actually doing it. According to recent research, 61 percent of Christians have not shared Christ in the past six months, and 25 percent have only shared with 1–2 people.
I have spent the majority of my ministry teaching Christians how to be more evangelistic. Here, I want to highlight four mistakes most Christians make in evangelism, and why we need to stop making them.
Mistake 1: Thinking You Must Know All the Answers
One of the primary concerns about evangelism is thinking you do not know enough. There is a fear of being asked a question we are unprepared to answer, or worse, giving the wrong answer.
Sometimes this fear stems from the assumption that the people we share with will be hostile and want to embarrass us. At other times, we are genuinely concerned that our answers will push someone further from Christ.
Consider these points:
1. The Bible never suggests that Christians are responsible for knowing the answers to any question someone may ask. Sure, we need to be prepared, but it is impossible to anticipate every question. This stress is unhealthy and unbiblical. Rather than being afraid, feel free to say, “That’s a great question. I don’t know the answer, but I will see if I can find out for you.”
2. The gospel, not your answers, is the power for salvation (see Rom. 1:16). God works to save through his Son, not through our wisdom. Familiarize yourself with his story; you’ll be fine.
3. Unanswered questions rarely keep someone from trusting Christ. Think of it this way, you are a Christian. There are questions to which you do not know the answers. These questions have not kept you away from Christ.
Quit believing that you must have all the answers before you share your faith, you don’t need to have them all.
Mistake 2: Not Being Yourself
Another reason many fail to share Christ is that they assume effective evangelism requires a particular personality, one they do not possess. Remember what God said after Moses complained that his personality weaknesses made him unqualified to do what God commanded? “Who placed a mouth on humans? Who makes a person mute or deaf, seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord?” (Ex. 4:11).
God has given you the personality, the experiences and the opportunities to be an effective evangelist. You are uniquely gifted to reach people others cannot. Sure, some of us have to work harder than others to share our faith, but that does not mean you are unqualified.
Quit thinking that God cannot use you as you are to reach others for Christ. He has made you to tell others about him.
Mistake 3: Not Asking for a Decision
The Bible teaches us that anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (Rom. 10:13). Far too often we are content sharing the story of Jesus with others without asking if they would like to respond—if they are willing to call on Jesus and be saved.
We don’t want to be offensive. Some are afraid they are forcing a person to be saved or pushing them to believe. These fears may be sincere, but they are unwarranted.
If someone listens to you talk about Christ, it is natural and normal to ask, “Does this make sense to you? Would you like to trust Jesus right now?”
If they say, “Yes,” help them call on Jesus in prayer. If they say, “No” or “Not right now,” that’s cool too. You can rejoice that they understand and leave the door open for further conversations.
Quit stopping your gospel presentations short, give people a chance to respond to Jesus.
Mistake 4: Keeping Silent
Finally, the single biggest mistake we make in evangelism is not doing it. You have friends, family members, neighbors, co-workers and classmates who are ready to talk with you about Jesus.
You may not have all the answers, and you might make some mistakes. However, the most significant mistake you could make is keeping silent.
Quit being silent. Share Christ today.
This article originally appeared on LifeWayVoices.com.