This week at FUEL, we’re going to be talking with our students about one of the toughest topics for any young Christian to tackle: fear in evangelism. To be more specific, we’ll be discussing why sharing the Gospel can be fearsome at times, why we need to overcome that fear, and why we as believers never need to live in that fear.
To look at this in scripture, we’ll be taking a look at some statements from the Apostle Paul – specifically Romans 1:16-17, and Philippians 3:8. These verses display a fierce devotion to sharing the Gospel and a prioritized commitment to Christ above all things – regardless of worldly circumstances. Together, we hope this week that our students will desire this same mentality so that their evangelistic efforts can be as passionate as the Apostle Paul’s and the early church.
The hard reality is that there are some very real fears that come with sharing the Gospel. The following questions are statements that I have heard Christian teenagers say and ask (regarding evangelism) in my years of doing student ministry
“Will I lose a relationship with someone if I share the Gospel with them?”
“Should I share the Gospel with one of my parents if they aren’t saved? What am I supposed to do if they reject Jesus and tell me to stop talking about him?”
“I really want to share the Gospel in my school, but I know that I’ll be the ‘weird kid’ if I do.”
“I want to share the Gospel in any way that I can, but I don’t feel like I know how to do that.”
“I can’t share the Gospel with some people because their smarter than I am and I know they’ll have ways to combat my statements and leave me looking dumb.”
Satan has done an excellent job at encouraging us to not share the Gospel because of potential negative consequences. The above questions are just a few examples of how the enemy uses fear to trap us in apathy – sitting on the sidelines and watching the “game go by” with little to no impact.
How then are we and our students to overcome the fear of evangelism? We’ll talk about the answer to this in a more in depth way at FUEL this week, but the shortest answer I can give now is this: being satisfied with having our relationship with God…and potentially nothing else.
The crazy part of the above fears that we mentioned above is that they are real, and we certainly don’t want our students to think that nothing “bad” or “negative” could happen if they share the gospel. That simply wouldn’t be true. Students very well may lose a friend or two if they share the Gospel. A relationship with a family member could be hurt by sharing the Gospel, and in America today, rare occasions have even seen people lose their jobs and find trouble with government authorities for their evangelistic efforts. These fears are real because potential negative outcomes are also very real. That is just the scary truth.
And yet…we must ask ourselves this question: is having God and God alone enough for us? If the answer to that question is yes, then we will not live in fear when faced with evangelism. Instead, we will trust God’s sovereignty, knowing that he works all things to the good of those who love Him. We will also fall more in love with Him as we share the Gospel wit boldness, knowing that He is glorified through our efforts – regardless of how people respond.
Please join me in praying that our students will learn to love the discipline of evangelism and not live in the fear of practicing it! Encourage your students this week to share the Gospel with boldness, not apologizing for its truth that is powerful to save lost men and women around the globe. In doing so, we can glorify our King and work diligently to advance His kingdom!