This is one of those questions we don’t always ask aloud, but we might think it right after leaving a conversation. A conversation where we could’ve shared encouraging words from scripture but didn’t.
Perhaps we had the words but not the courage. Or maybe we felt the Spirit prompting us to share, the words were bubbling up inside, but…
I’m not sure if she believes in God.
What if it comes out wrong?
I don’t think I can talk about God at work.
What if it makes him feel awkward?
I want to say something but don’t know the words.
A recent survey from LifeWay Research revealed that 6 in 10 Americans (out of the 1,000 polled) prefer talking about politics over their spiritual beliefs. Personally, one of the reasons I was afraid to share the gospel with people was because I didn’t want them to think differently of me. I didn’t want to lose my status with them.
I feared that quiet moment when a person would start thinking: Ohhhhh. You’re one of those crazy Jesus people. Weird.
Maybe I know that scenario because I used to think that way. I didn’t want to hear what the Bible had to say because I wanted to live my way. And yet I knew there was truth in the Bible, and maybe that’s really why I pushed it away.
What Others Did That Led Me to the Lord
Well, people shared the gospel with me.
God sent His good and faithful servants in gentle ways, humble ways, good and faithful ways.
There was a moment when God knew what was in my heart even when I did not. He knew I needed His truth and that His truth alone would set me free (John 8:33). So he sent his hands and feet!
In a three-year period, three Christians from three different places came into my life with His word. They shared it in three different ways:
- My manager at work invited coworkers to his house for a book discussion with his family. The book was 30 Days to a Purpose Driven Life.
- My sister’s father in law, who loves music, started sharing CDs he put together of Christian music. He also sent The Ragamuffin Gospel, and I read it.
- My future husband was once a guy I met in a coffee shop who invited me to church. He was cute, so what did I have to lose? That was when I heard the gospel preached straight into my heart for the first time.
These Christians shared the gospel with me in the ways God led them. Maybe they felt afraid too, but they shared God’s Word how He put it on their hearts to share. And the Word did not return void.
Isaiah 55:11 says, “It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.”
Share the gospel how you feel led.
God will use you and your unique skills and talents. There is not one way to share. “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10).
As we grow closer to the Lord, we want to be more like Him. We want to share His word. He’ll prompt us when it’s the right time; He’ll move us to speak.
Romans 1:16 says, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.”
5 Ways to Grow in the Word Daily
Spending time with God by reading the Bible and allowing the Living Word to work in and through you is a great way to gain confidence in sharing it. How can we share what we don’t know? If you’re having a hard time getting into the Bible, here are five ways that might appeal to you:
- Find a One Year Bible or daily devotional to read in the morning, during your lunch break, before bed or whatever is your quiet time.
- Find a Bible-teaching church… one that reads and explains the meaning of Scripture. Or check out online sermons you can watch from your computer. There are many I’d recommend, but this is one of my favorites: Cornerstone Church San Francisco
- When you don’t understand something in the Bible clearly, check out commentaries from trusted theologians, which offer more explanations and interpretations. This page at BlueLetterBible offers commentaries listed by author, including Spurgeon and Whitefield. This is a starting point.
- Attend a Bible study. My understanding of scripture really began to open up when I started going to Bible study and small group studies. Here you can listen, ask questions and meet other Christians growing in Christ. Find out what ministries your church or local Bible-teaching churches offer.
- Are you more of an audio learner? Check out the Bible on CD or Christian music. Once upon a time this was of zero interest in my life, but starting the day with KLove radio or Christian music can set a tone for my whole day. Many of the songs include verses right out of the Bible. Plus–big bonus–my kids are listening. When I heart them singing these words to themselves, it comforts my heart.
5 Ways to Share God’s Word
If you don’t know what someone believes or how they will accept what you’re sharing, here are five gentle ways to share:
- Share a verse. Example: “When I was going through that, there was a proverb that really encouraged me. It was ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.’”
- Share by paraphrasing. Example: “One of my favorite stories is the prodigal son. You know how the son leaves and squanders all his money but when he comes home his father is waiting with open arms? That’s how God welcomes us back.”
- Share by speaking the truth boldly. Example: “The Bible says there’s no fear in perfect love.”
- Share by offering to pray for him/her. Example: “I’ll be praying that God gives you wisdom and shows you the way to go with that career decision.”
- Send an encouraging verse. Here are 15 prayer messages you could send in a text.
How God Shows Us What to Say to Others
I love that part in Nehemiah when the king asks him why he looks sad. First he says he was afraid. But when the king asked next what he wanted, Nehemiah writes, “I prayed” (Nehemiah 2:4). Wow, that’s a great move! Thank you Nehemiah!
There are times in a conversation when I feel the words bubbling up, I feel the fear right around the corner, but I quickly pray in my mind and heart: Lord help me. Give me the words.
“The holy spirit will give you the words to say at the moment when you need them” (Luke 12:12).
Praise the Lord because who knows what we would say on our own?
So if you feel afraid to share the gospel, just remember that we all do at times. Even Peter denied Christ three times. We are human. But focusing on God’s love rather than fear can change our perspective entirely. And stay in the Word so you’re ready when that door opens. Most of all, never give up. God bless you.
“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).
I’d love to hear how you share the word of God to encourage others. Leave a comment about one unique ways God puts it on your heart to share.