Talking to people, especially strangers has always been one of my least favourite things to do. It’s too much pressure. Like, I have to rehearse a script in my head first, work up the courage, jug round the city early in the morning, skip rope, have a whole training montage with the theme song of rocky playing in the background, and in the end, the person just completely disregards the role I assigned them in my head. So because of this, I have places I don’t like going to, and they include, supermarkets, the bus, parties, and well, anywhere outside my house.
But then as I got older, I realized I had to do better, especially as my social anxiety had cost me too much already. And I was tired of making irrational decisions that even affected my personal relationships.
One other thing that pushed me to wanting to make a change was, THE GOSPEL. Think about it, before Christ left, he gave us a mission. This isn’t an “Ethan Hunt, your mission should you choose to accept it,” kind of thing, this is a must for every believer.(Matt 28:19-20).
Also, the stakes are pretty high. Far above my fear of embarrassment, we’re talking eternal fate. So, my obedience and disobedience could either lead someone to eternal life or fail to save them from eternal damnation.
When I absorbed the full realization of that responsibility, I was hyped. Super hyped. I was ready to pick up a megaphone and just scream to the world, that Jesus Christ came to die so we could have remission of sins and never be separated from God’s love.
This is how my first evangelism attempt went.
Me: . . .
Person: . . .
Me: . . .
Me: (walks away awkwardly)
I bombed. My intentions were good, I knew what I wanted to say, the setting was ideal for a proper conversation, but I just couldn’t initiate one with a complete stranger. So in case you’re someone like me, who just wants to be on the field for the lord, but has your own anxiety screaming at you like, “you shall not pass!” I hope this helps.Firstly, we have the Holy Spirit. No one can evangelize without the Holy Spirit's influence and power. He is the one that convicts the souls, the one that fills the preacher with confidence. Click To Tweet
Firstly, we have the Holy Spirit. No one can evangelize without the Holy Spirit’s influence and power. He is the one that convicts the souls, the one that fills the preacher with confidence. Let’s look at Peter. In Matt 26: 69-75, we see Peter deny Jesus three times. Even with an oath. Why? Because he was afraid, which is understandable. I even relate. But then in Acts 2:14-40, we see that same Peter, stand before a great multitude, preaching the good news. What changed? The baptism of the Holy Ghost. It is most advisable to pray in the Holy Ghost before any evangelism exercise. Let him know you are fully dependent on him, and he will take charge.
Secondly, you can start from somewhere. If you’re not good with crowds yet, start by talking to one person, or even minister through text. Join an evangelism group in your local church and learn from someone who has gathered experience. If you can’t approach someone alone, go with a friend. Jesus did send his disciples in twos (Luke10:1).
So, he understands. Also, don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Understand, everybody is awkward. In the end, we all have something we’re dealing with, only we have gotten too good at hiding them. The reason many of us find it hard to approach strangers is because we are scared of being judged. But then in the end, that person might be scared that you’re judging him/her.
When you realize that most of us are even too busy worrying about ourselves to judge others, things become easier. Not saying that there aren’t people who do judge, but then in the end, the only opinion that should matter to you is that of your heavenly father. And what does the bible say, Rom8:35-39, nothing is strong enough to separate us from Gods love; not sin, not death, nor famine, peril, not the fact that you snort when you laugh, or look like you’re having a seizure when you dance.
God loves us no matter what, and even with all our weirdness and imperfections and sin, decided we were worth dying for and went for it. Hallelujah!
So, yeah, you want to evangelize but you’re shy and have lots of anxiety. Pray about it, let the Holy Spirit know, and let him know you’re depending on him, and secondly, just go for it. You cannot do it unless you try. And yes, even if you blow it like I did on my first attempt or manage to do something worse, go again, and if you mess up some more? Try again. Isn’t that how we all learned to walk?
Put yourself out there, out of your comfort zone. And together, we’ll bring the light of God’s love to all the dark places of the earth.
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