This may be hard to believe, but pastors struggle to share the gospel. Whether it be sermon preparation or counseling, pastors often let good disciplines in ministry hinder their evangelism.
In my own life, I find myself struggling to share the gospel on a weekly basis. My fear of rejection hinders me from sharing the gospel with those around me. Additionally, I’ve watched as pastors have lost much of their influence in the public square, which adds to my fear of rejection.
My fear of rejection and the lack of respect for pastors in the community makes it difficult to share the gospel with those around me. However, I have friends who are zealous to share the gospel, like my good friend, Cole, who is one of the most zealous Christ-followers I know when it comes to sharing the gospel. It’s amazing to hear how so many people of all different backgrounds repent and surrender to Jesus Christ from his gospel witness.
Building Relationships is Key
Whether you’re nervous or zealous to share the gospel, I’ve found relationships to be the most beneficial way to begin gospel conversations. In our postmodern culture, our society has moved away from being a truth-based society to a relational society. People want to know others and want to be known by others.
When done well, personal evangelism has produced some amazing fruit in leading people to Christ and building Christ-centered relationships.
Three Ways to Start Sharing the Gospel Every Week
Once you’ve invested time building friendships with unbelievers, there are three ways you can start sharing the gospel with them every week.
Offer to Pray for Them
One of the easiest ways to start sharing the gospel every week is by asking your unbelieving friends how you can pray for them. In your conversations, ask how you can be praying for them. When you pray for them, you show them that you care about them and the situations that they are walking through. Pray for God to work in their life and lead them to saving faith in Christ. Prayer shows your unbelieving friend that your affection and trust belong to God.
Read Gospel-Centered Books Together
In my life, I have asked unbelieving friends if they would like to start a weekly book study with me. If possible, choose a gospel-centered book that will serve as an introduction to the Christian life. These books can give you a reason to regularly have gospel conversations with your non-Christian friends.
J.I. Packer’s classic book, Knowing God, has been a very helpful tool in studying the gospel with others. In this book, Packer explains that the Christian faith is ultimately about knowing and loving God for who he is, particularly in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
Greg Gilbert’s book What is the Gospel? is one of the best foundational books for the modern reader. Gilbert effectively lays out the basics of the gospel and how it applies to our lives.
If your friend is willing, perhaps you can invite them to read through a book of the Bible with you. Finding a place to start reading through the Bible can be overwhelming at first, but I’ve found Mark and John’s Gospels to be helpful starting points.
Answer Questions with Gospel Truth
Be open to answering their questions with the truth of the gospel. It can be easy to answer with modern ideas or to simply dismiss their questions altogether. Remember that your friend likely isn’t familiar with theologically-packed words such as justification and sanctification. Slow down and explain what you mean when you use words that may be unfamiliar to them.
Remember that your friend likely isn’t familiar with theologically-packed words such as justification and sanctification.
One of my mentors in college once challenged me by saying, “If you can’t summarize what a word means in one sentence, you really don’t know what that word means.” If you truly want them to taste and see that the Lord is good, and to ultimately take refuge in him as their Lord and Savior (Psalm 34:8), you ought to take the time to explain terms and concepts to them. We explain the gospel and summarize these terms so that they can understand the fullness of the gospel of Christ.
Share the Joy in Christ with Joy
It can be easy to view evangelism as a “chore” or to see sharing the gospel as “burdensome.” Remember the moment when you experienced the salvation of the Lord. Look back to the time when you realized the joy of following Jesus in total surrender. Think back on the freedom that you experienced when you confessed your sin.
As you look back, take the hunger and fire you experienced when you first came to know and believe in Christ, and apply it to sharing the gospel.
As you look back, take the hunger and fire you experienced when you first came to know and believe in Christ, and apply it to sharing the gospel. Share the gospel weekly because you are overflowing with joy and hope in Christ. As you share the gospel, I pray you will see the fruit of the Holy Spirit bringing dead hearts alive for Christ.