“Why are so many Christians not sharing their faith?”
By Brent Hunter
The reasons why so many Christians report that they feel uncomfortable sharing their faith are multifaceted. We must be aware of what these barriers are, because any successful soul winning effort must start by laying a foundation of preaching and teaching that deals with these six key barriers and how they can be overcome. Let's deal with the first three in this article, and barriers, # 4-6, in next week’s installment.
Three Key Barriers Which Must be Overcome
1. People just aren't interested anymore! I hear this all the time. Jesus said, "Lift up your eyes, and look unto the fields, they are white unto the harvest" (John 4:35). On another occasion Jesus told His disciples, "The harvest is great!" (Mt. 13:38); First and foremost, we have to believe what Jesus said. We must stop making excuses! We need to lay up in our hearts the powerful promise that if we faithfully spread the word, "it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper" (Is. 55:11) If we believe that there is no one in our community who will respond to the gospel if taught, why bother? That is one of the reasons why it is important to be informed of the faithful congregations that are having evangelistic success. It can help to provide us with hope and assurance that people not only need the gospel, but if approached in the right way, many will respond. If others can be successful, so can we!.
2. Fear of Rejection, I just feel uncomfortable: We are surrounded by a culture that is "politically correct," and people today are very easily offended. Unfortunately, many Christians have allowed the culture to change them, instead of the reverse. Indeed, this is often why there is a fear of rejection. This is the most commonly stated reason why Christians say they don't talk to their friends and neighbors about the gospel. We need to be reminded that the opposite of fear is faith and that "without faith it is impossible to please Him'' (Heb.11:6). John admonishes us, "Perfect love cast out fear!"(l John 4:18)! Say that little spiritual gem to yourself when feeling afraid, repeat it over and over again, and you will find it will not be long until a courage fit, replaces a fit of fear! This is not surprising because Jesus has told us that when we go out and share the gospel, "I will be with you, even to the end of the age" (Mt 28:20). Picture Jesus by your side and it will help you to build courage.
3. A lack of training and practical instruction. Many congregations see the need and value of men's training and singing classes which I commend. What about training classes on "How to Teach Others the Gospel,” or "How to Effectively Share One's Faith''? Too often we forget that the Lord's plan of evangelism is to "Teach these things unto faithful men, who will be able to teach others also" (2 Tim. 2:2). Evangelism is not complete, until the evangelized becomes the evangelist! How can we obey this command and "equip the saints for the work of ministry" (Eph. 4:12), if we don't regularly provide instruction and training in how to do so?
I have found that one of the reasons why so many Christians are so afraid is that they are not shown or taught how to win souls. Think about it. All of us are filled with fear, in any area of our lives, when we are told to do something, but have no idea of what we are doing. Uncertainty will always lead to inaction. Many good hearted, well-meaning Christians do not share their faith! Jesus said that the problem is not the harvest; the problem is the lack of reapers going into the field (Mt.13:38). "Pray the Lord of harvest to send out not laborers into His harvest" (Luke 10:2).