I’m not good at being an encourager. Or, as a friend put it, “You’re not a pillow-fluffer.” True. I’m not. It is a conscious effort for me to discipline myself to be an encourager.
At the risk of sounding spiritually shallow, I’ve never felt I’m great at evangelism either.
You, too? I suspect this might be you since in a Barna Group Survey only 1% of Christians believe they are gifted at evangelism. This is not a blog to debate whether evangelism is a spiritual gift or not. (That’s another blog.) However, using easy math it’s quite clear that a huge chunk of us are not participating in sharing the gospel.
Using the reason,“evangelism is not my gift,” is not a valid excuse to not share the gospel. We often justify that if it doesn’t come easy then it isn’t for me to do. Without debating, let me ask, if I’m not good at encouragement does that mean I’m exempt from “encouraging one another daily?” … Of course not.
Sharing the gospel is the responsibility of all believers and it requires much discipline to do so. Yes, including those of us who don’t feel we are great at it. (This is where many stop reading information like this because we wrestle an inner tension of feeling guilty and judged for not sharing the gospel.)
@@Sharing the gospel is the responsibility of all believers@@
Let’s just lay the honesty cards on the table and admit that fear and insecurity paralyze us so that gospel-sharing muscles are never exercised. We become anemic evangelists, deficient in our ability to share.
If sharing the gospel isn’t something that comes easy to you, I get it! Let me offer you a few exercises that increase my ability to share.
HOW TO BUILD GOSPEL-SHARING MUSCLES
1. Be consumed everyday with God’s desire for His glory.
Understanding God’s glory feels mystical. God gives us a tangible picture of His desire for His glory. “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.” (Hab. 2:14) The oceans cover a massive 96.5% of the earth. That’s a lot of glory! God created you for His glory, (Isa 43:7) and He saved you for his glory. And while salvation is a free gift and very personal, salvation is really for Him “so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow … to the glory of God the Father.” (Phil 2:10-11) God is passionate about his glory and you are a vehicle through which God makes his glory known to others.
2. Learn to extract gospel moments from everyday life.
Moments are as small as an atom. They are so small they can be overlooked, yet are so powerful that if split they create an atomic energy that explosively rearranges the landscape of anything near it. Take hold of small moments you have with people. “Paul reasoned in the market place everyday with whoever happened to be there.” (Acts 17:17) You may not lead someone to Christ everyday. Yet, you can weave in threads of gospel truth into so many conversations.
3. Reject passivity and accept responsibility.
Sharing the gospel is not for a select few, but the responsibility of all believers. God placed you where you are in this season of your life with divine intention. No one else will walk the path God designed for you. Steward your unique circle influence with intentional gospel purpose.
4. Expand the circumference of where you spend time.
If the majority of people in your circle are believers, then you need a bigger circle. Don’t succumb to a victim mentality of “I would if my circumstances were different.” Leverage your season of life to intersect with other lives — at the park, lunch break, coffee shop, gym or moms from your child’s school.
5. Tether your confidence to the power of the Spirit in you.
Sharing the gospel is not complicated, but we don’t do it because we feel like we can’t. You have the ability! If you won a million dollars you don’t need to take a class on how to tell people that you won a million dollars and how they can do they same. You have traversed this path, have become a child of God with an inheritance and possess the power of the Spirit within you. The idea that sharing the gospel is complicated is a lie from the enemy. “You have often said to yourself ‘what can I do?’ But when Christ by His Spirit grips you, what can you not do?” (Charles Spurgeon)
6. Tap into your own story.
Your personal story has gospel purpose. Your story is filled not only with an eternal salvation experience, but a continual salvation as God works in you. Even in the pits of your life, God is at work in you. He hears you, draws you out of mud, places your feet on stable ground and puts new words in your mouth! Why? “So that many will see and hear and put their trust in Him.” (Psalm 40:1-4)
7. Jump off the relationship-building bridge.
I’m tempted to freeze on the relationship-bridge. I did it just the other day with a friend that I’ve been weaving gospel threads into conversations. It’s that place where you stand on the edge of thinking, “is it going to be socially awkward if I ask her if she’s ready to follow Jesus?” Just because my friend knows I believe in Jesus and I’ve shared pieces of truth with her doesn’t mean I’ve shared the whole gospel with her. The gospel is not completely shared until there is a moment of decision. Jump off! Move from threads of truth to the entire gospel which includes both the good news and a decision to repent and follow.
So what do you do now? You do the same thing when you know you need to exercise. You just start. Ask God to reveal people he’s strategically placed in your life and also how you need to create space to intersect with people. Acknowledge the power of the Spirit that lives within you. Now, start exercising and build gospel-sharing muscles.