How to Get Members Sharing Jesus WITH Fear
Dr. Steve Parr
Sharing Jesus without Fear. What a great resource and a great concept. Perhaps you have noticed, however, that you have many members who are not engaged in sharing the gospel in any way whatsoever. Leaders should not be surprised that many believers have a sense of fear when it comes to witnessing. After all, the determination to share Jesus with someone is a direct challenge into the face of spiritual opposition. We are reminded in Ephesians 6:12 that “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” I don’t know exactly how many times that I have shared Jesus with someone but I know that it would be in the hundreds. In my encounters I have never been physically attacked although I have received my share of verbal barrages. The fact is that no real damage was done. Yet, I still experience fear.
How do you get members to share the gospel in spite of their fear. None of the following suggestions are guaranteed antidotes but they can all help make a difference.
- Get members praying specifically for those who are without Jesus Christ as Savior as well as for God’s guidance and protection. Acts 4:31 says “And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.”
- Give your members a variety of tools or ways to be a witness. Many of your members envision witnessing as going door to door and confronting strangers with the gospel message. But that is only one of many possibilities. Teach and encourage them to invite people to worship services, Bible studies, and special events. Inviting is not a substitute for verbally witnessing but is a credible supplement. Provide training and teach them how to share the gospel. 77% of Georgia Baptist Churches report that they provide no evangelism training. No wonder many of our members are fearful. They are not being equipped to share! Teach members how to utilize ministry as a source to open the door to evangelism. Most adults who trust Jesus as Savior do so when they are experiencing a crisis and a Christian is ministering during their difficulty.
- Emphasize the advantage of Team Evangelism. Luke 10:1 is just one of several examples of Jesus encouraging a team approach; “After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go.” Are you equipping your small groups or Sunday school classes to engage in evangelism as team? If not, you are missing a great opportunity. Your groups have familiarity with those in a similar life stage, know what they enjoy, and know how they think. Group fellowships and Bible studies have consistently proven effective in outreach and evangelism if the groups are intentional. Please check out sample chapters of resources that I have developed to help your groups become more effective in the Team approach so that they can share Jesus in spite of any fear! http://www.kregel.com/sundayschool