I stood there, shaking like a leaf in hurricane force winds. In my hands I had a nervously clutched stack of million dollar bill gospel tracts. It was my first time on the streets sharing the gospel, and I was scared to death.
Someone walked my way. “No. I can’t give one to that person.” Another potentially lost soul walked my way; “She looks like she is in a hurry. I’ll leave her alone.”
What was happening? I came out with my brothers in Christ to share the gospel but I wasn’t participating. Something was stopping me. It has probably stopped you before too: fear. I had become a victim of the coexistence of fear and evangelism.
Fear is a common emotion to encounter when we decide to share the gospel. Our heart might start to race. We might sweat or shiver. The fear may become so intense that our thoughts affect how our body operates. The fear is real, but it is not directed (usually) toward it’s proper object: God.
Getting Accustomed to Fear in Evangelism
Fear is a normal reaction to evangelism, even seasoned evangelists like Ray Comfort have to fight through it. Paul mentions coming to the Corinthians with “fear and trembling” 1, which very likely was due to his fear of sharing the gospel with them. So how do we get over this diabolical infusion of fear and evangelism?
Frankly, in my opinion, we don’t. That really shouldn’t even be the goal. As soon as we start to think that our comfort has anything to do with out duty to participate in evangelism, we will start to make excuses, and stop being faithful.
I still get scared every time I share the gospel. But our burden to share the gospel must overpower our fear. The fear will remain, but the power of the Holy Spirit will allow us to do the work of an evangelist will overcome it.
So don’t buy in to the “evangelism without fear” nonsense. Leave your concerns about your own feelings at the door, put on your big boy (or girl) pants and go out there and proclaim king Jesus!
- 1 Corinthians 2:3 ↩