What If I’m Not "Gifted" in Evangelism?

by Feb 1, 2011

In Sunday’s sermon, we explored Jesus’ description of us as light of the world and salt of the earth. Salt is not a neutral substance – it has an effect on everything it comes into contact with. It preserves some things (meat) and disrupts other things (surfboards). Therefore, followers of Jesus should expect that in some way we’ll be naturally influencing the people God puts in our lives.

But the hesitation always comes… “I don’t think I’m very gifted in evangelism. I’m too intimidated to talk about Jesus. I feel awkward and unprepared.”

In this article, Mack Stiles encourages us to think differently about evangelism. What’s important in our role as salt and light is not giftedness but faithfulness. God’s sacrificial love for us will naturally drive us to faithfully love the people around us.

He offers four practical suggestions that will lead to faithfulness:

Be Bold

No question: The “fear of man” is the number one roadblock to evangelism. It follows that much of what is taught about evangelism is well-meaning techniques of how to be non-offensive. But the gospel is offensive: For example, when we call people to be reconciled with God, it involves sharing with people that they are sinners, too. So beware of changed language or witnessing techniques that only serve to water down the gospel message. Remember when Paul shared the gospel he didn’t merely receive public scorn, he regularly got put in jail. And it was from jail that Paul asked for prayer that he would be bold with the gospel. If people are offended by the message of the gospel it may be awkward, but awkward truth is better than silence.

Be Clear

Make sure to define the gospel and evangelism correctly. Here are four important working definitions:

  • The gospel is a message from God that leads to salvation.
  • That message entails exclusive claims about God’s character, our human dilemma before this God, and what Christ has done to resolve the dilemma.
  • Salvation, itself, is being reconciled with God.
  • Evangelism is teaching this message of reconciliation to non-Christians with the aim to persuade or convert.

Do you know the message through and through? Do you understand what the exclusive claims are? Are you willing to take a stand in a world that hates “exclusive”?

Memorize the outline of God, Man, Christ, Response and the Scripture that goes with it.

Share Often

Paul said “make the most of every opportunity.” What more can I say? Practice makes perfect? Not to sound like the old sneaker commercial, but just do it. I’ve noticed that evangelism is the spiritual discipline that gets the rustiest the fastest in my life.

Love Much

Do you long to see those around you know Jesus? Are you praying for gospel opportunities in their lives? Look inside yourself: Is there sin that is preventing you from loving others? Fight for compassion in your life; fight for the ability to see others the way God sees others, not the ways the world sees others.

Living out the gospel in your life commends the gospel—it’s compelling. Make sure the themes of the gospel message are a part of your speech and practice day to day—especially love.