Christian Living | 27 comments | 6 min read

Are You Believing These Lies About Evangelism?

Three beliefs that hold you back from sharing your faith

Sep 27, 2023

Hannah Miura

BSF Administrative Assistant

If I’m being completely honest, I have never liked evangelism. Just the idea makes my palms sweat and my stomach knot. The pressure and vulnerability of sharing my faith makes me wish I could ask God for a personal exemption on “evangelism.” I would much rather let the more outspoken and fearless followers of Jesus take the charge for me.  

But as much as I wish I could rely on others to share the gospel, I simply cannot ignore God’s call to evangelism for all of His followers. When someone shared the gospel with me during college, God used her obedience to transform my life. When I later chose to become a campus missionary, I once again witnessed the gospel’s power when I shared about Jesus with a new student. Like me, she had never heard the gospel before college and like me, God used a 10-minute conversation to change her life for eternity.  

We know the gospel is worth sharing. The Bible tells us that it is “the power of God that brings salvation” (Romans 1:16). In John 17, Jesus Himself prayed for future generations who would hear the gospel. We have all seen the gospel at work in our world, transforming our own lives and the lives of those around us. And if we really believe the gospel, then we must believe that it is the best and most important news that anyone can hear.  

So, what keeps us from sharing our faith with a world that so desperately needs Jesus? Here are three lies that may be preventing us from sharing the gospel. 

Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, who you have sent.

John 17:3

1. I do not know enough about the Bible.

It’s true that people may ask hard questions that exceed what we know and have experienced. What if they ask about Old Testament law? Or John’s visions in Revelation? How can we possibly explain parts of the Bible that we don’t even understand? 

The good news is that we do not need to know all the answers. In fact, being honest about what we don’t know provides a beautiful opportunity to seek answers together.  

Think back to your own experience of coming to faith. Did facts, figures, or data convince you to follow Jesus? For most of us, Christianity was compelling because of the change we saw in someone close to us. We know that Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection carry real meaning and bring noticeable transformation in the lives of those who follow Him. When we share our personal experience, this tangible truth often means more than facts or figures ever could. 

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For most of us, Christianity was compelling because of the change we saw in someone close to us.

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2. I am not a “good enough” Christian.

During my time as a campus missionary, students often shared the fear that evangelism would make them seem like hypocrites. 

“Would they really listen to what I’m sharing if they knew my own doubts or struggles? My friends know that I can’t resist joining in whenever they start to gossip. Why would they want to hear me tell them that they need to follow Jesus when I do that so imperfectly?”  

We often tell ourselves that evangelism is a job that only becomes available when we no longer struggle with sin or doubt of any kind. We worry that we ruin the image of Jesus when we inevitably make mistakes in front of family, coworkers, and friends. 

In reality, sin makes us human and amplifies our need for God’s grace. Repentance magnifies what the gospel teaches about God’s unconditional love and forgiveness. In a world that clearly lacks the perfect love of Christ, we have good news to share: Jesus loves imperfect people. 

3. I should wait until I know their response.

My ideal evangelism scenario would look a little something like this: a person approaches me and says, “I’ve studied the Bible. I’ve listened to sermons. I’ve prayed and thought long and hard about what it looks like to accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I have no more reservations or questions. I’m ready to give my life to Christ. Would you help me do that?”  

Far more often, God calls us to take a (terrifying!) step of faith by bringing Jesus into a conversation where He might not be welcomed. 

Jesus told His disciples that because He was hated and persecuted by the world, His followers should expect the same (John 15:18, 20). Jesus also promised that the Holy Spirit would guide us in truth (John 16:22) and teach us what to say when we must defend our faith (Luke 12:12). 

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God calls us to take a step of faith by bringing Jesus into a conversation where He might not be welcomed.

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Ultimately, we know that our words do not have power to convince someone to turn toward Christ. Saving grace rests with Jesus alone. Just as He healed the blind man in John 9, He continues to make spiritually blind men and women see.  

Much like the rest of our Christian life, evangelism requires a leap of faith. Knowing what is true about Jesus and believing in the power of the gospel allow us to focus on our obedience rather than our fears. This truth enables us to speak boldly about the transforming power of faith in Jesus, trusting God with the outcome. 

About the Author

Hannah Miura serves as the Administrative Coordinator for BSF’s Marketing and Communications team. Passionate about seeing God’s Word transform lives, she previously worked in college ministry and holds a Masters in Church Planting. When she became a Christian during college, joining BSF with a friend was her first time studying the Bible in-depth with others. Hannah is married to an Army officer and continues to see God provide amidst the challenges of military life.

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27 Comments

  1. Hannah,
    I can relate to this article. I’ve always wanted to do more to help others learn about Jesus, but I feel like I wasn’t good enough because I wasn’t strict enough in my faith or did not know enough about the Bible. God has a plan, someone told me about BSF and I was really interested so I joined. I really enjoy the BSF lessons, talking with my group, and listening to lecture. I am normally more quiet and observant, but in BSF, I’ve been pushing myself out of my comfort zone and more vocal. I recently volunteered to be a group leader, but first I had to learn I am enough and it’s okay that I don’t know all of the answers. I’ve been bringing up the conversation of Jesus to friends, coworkers, and even strangers which is huge for me. Not everyone wants to hear about Jesus, but it’s great when I talk to people and they are genuinely interested. I realize this comment is getting lengthy so I’ll end by saying this article is relatable and thank you for writing it.

    Reply
  2. “In reality, sin makes us human” and is thus how we know that Jesus was not fully human, for he lacked the essence of humanity that is the internal urge to sin built into us which cannot be perfectly overcome.

    Reply
    • You make an interesting point but with all due respect, I would like to point out that Jesus WAS fully human while being fully God. Resisting sin even required Jesus to fully rely on His Father and in Jesus’ perfection He was able to overcome the urge to sin. This urge may have been even worse for
      Jesus because of who He was. This remains a mystery, but it’s a demonstration of God’s wondrous love that He would send His one and only son to die for the sins of the world.

      Reply
  3. from John 4, the samaritan woman ddn`t know everything about Jesus but she passionately shared truths Jesus had just revealed to her ,and her testimony brought so many to Jesus…

    This is an encouraging lesson to me, just go planting, or sowing, JESUS will complete the heartwork….

    Reply
  4. It grieves me that most local churches only celebrate when a non-believer comes to Christ and confesses to believe. However, few congregations celebrate when we share our testimony with others, if the unbeliever does not immediately come to faith. This tends to leave many Christians with a sense of feeling like failures, when our witness doesn’t bring an unbeliever to faith immediately. We know that, according to 1 Cor 3:7, one plants, another waters, and the Lord brings the harvest. Yet, we seem to overlook the very next verse that God actually rewards those who plant and those who water according to their labor (1Cor. 3:8).

    Reply
  5. Thank you Hannah for your transparency and honesty. I related to so much what you said, it was such a help to me!
    Thank you!

    Reply
  6. Wow that’s awesome and thanks for being vulnerable. Despite being saved since I was young, inI always felt that evangelist is for the selected or called believers just like there are many gifts in the fold. This message acts as a great mindset shift. Thanks for sharing

    Reply
  7. Help me Jesus to be courageous in your command to go forward and make disciples

    Reply
    • Hannah, your sharing makes want to make in the next opportunity to share my faith. So help me God.

      Reply
  8. Thank you Hannah! I did not have time this AM to read your email, but I was guided by the Holy Spirit to do so! I feel inadequate to defend my faith especially with my son! I like what you emphasised that Jesus himself was not accepted! Maybe as a grown man, married with children, he will see the light! I grieve for him and myself !

    Reply
    • Praying for your son and that God would use you to reach him! Thank you for sharing!

      Reply
  9. I’m challenged by reading Hannah’s practical tips, my struggle is I’m surrounded by people who go to Church every Sunday but I see some form of struggles in trusting God. I want to take a step to invite a neighbor to class. Lord help me do just that.

    Reply
  10. Thanks, this was encouraging. I try to bring Jesus into casual conversations and be sensitive to the responses or non-response that I get. If we start with prayer before unplanned opportunities, we can lead with God’s love.

    Reply
    • Thank you for your kind words! I totally agree, I am always amazed by how God opens doors for spiritually conversation when I spend time in prayer for those opportunities.

      Reply
  11. Thank you, many of the reasons you listed, I’ve given at one time or another. I especially like that you said knowing the Truth, we should focus on obedience rather than fear.

    Reply
  12. Thank you, Hannah! Especially timely with the upcoming Sharing the Gospel Seminar! Also, such a great reminder that the Holy Spirit does the “heavy lifting”, we just have to be available and obedient.

    Reply
  13. This is a very relatable topic. No one likes to be in a position where they are stepping out of their comfort zone and quite possibly shut down with an emotional response.

    But that’s exactly what God asks: to share the gospel. In fact that should be our number one objective, sharing Jesus with the world.

    Like you said, it isn’t our words that bring anyone to Christ. God works thru us when we step out in obedience and we often don’t get to see the long term outcome. Who knows what doors our words can open with the power of the Holy Spirit.

    Thank you for your encouragement!

    Reply
  14. This is so good and certainly inspires us to share the good news with everyone we know. 🙌🏼

    Reply
  15. Thanks Hannah, this really resonates with me. Reminds me of this week’s study when I stumbled upon Psalm 69:6 … jaw drop: “May those who wait for Thee not be ashamed through me, O Lord God of hosts; May those who seek Thee not be dishonored through me, O God of Israel.” Amen

    Reply
    • I have always felt lack of confidence in sharing God’s words even as I’ve accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior since 2015, but I long to have the boldness and strategies in opening my family’s heart to Him.

      Reply
  16. That was great, Hannah! Those are exactly my thoughts too. Thank you for letting us know that we are not alone in our doubts & fears about evangelizing.
    I pray that the Lord will embolden me with His words to reach others for Him. 🙏

    Reply
    • It’s easy to feel like we are the only ones who are afraid, and everyone else knows what they’re doing. But really this fear is so common. What a great opportunity to support one another and to trust Jesus to give us boldness!

      Reply
  17. This speaks to my heart and the struggles I have with trying to tell others about Jesus. Thank you for tackling the topic head on!

    Reply
  18. Loved this open conversation Hannah had with us! As we practice obedience in this area, we are changed to see, the love Jesus wants to give and share with all, as a privilege, that when, we have a true heartfelt response, we will share “The Good News” with joy!

    Reply
  19. Thank you Hannah this is such an amazing piece and thanks for allowing God to use you. Be blessed.

    Gloria from Uganda, Africa

    Reply
    • Evangelism is one of our greatest missions as a Christian. We truly should prioritize and equip ourselves for the work ahead. Labourers are few but the harvest is plenty. May God help us to work through the obstacles so we may be ready when the opportunity comes our way. Thanks for the article.

      Agnes, Mombasa Kenya.

      Reply
  20. Thank you for sharing Hannah!

    Reply

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