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Ten Evangelism Stoppers

Mark Mittelberg was asked by Leadership Journal to look at the excuses most used by Christians when defending their personal inactivity in regards to the Great Commission. Mark listed these ten excuses - and ways leaders can respond.

1. "I don't have many non-Christian friends." Jesus was a friend of sinners. We need to take risks to follow His example. Preach the gospel to "every person" is the command.

2. "I don't have the gift of evangelism. It's not my thing." Jesus gave the Great Commission to the entire church. We all have a vital part to play by using approaches that fit our unique personalities.

3. "I don't have time right now." Mix outreach with things you're already doing by inviting unchurched friends to join you. Think of the difference one lunch made in the life of Zacchaeus!

4. "I'm afraid of what my friends will think of me." That's a good sign that you're sensitive enough to approach people in ways that won't unnecessarily offend them! If you interact with your friends respectfully, they'll likely be open.

5. "I'll just live out my faith in front of my friends; they'll figure it out." That approach may sound appealing, but it's neither biblical nor effective. (A witness does not witness by his life but by his lips. His life must back up his life. added by Sumner)

6. "I don't know how to bring up the topic." Pray for wisdom and courage to seize split-second opportunities to steer ordinary topics, like getting a drink of water (John 4), into spiritual conversations ("I could have given you living water"). (Sumner adds: Give people a gospel tract. It plants seed and opens the door to share the gospel so easily.)

7. "I wouldn't know what to say once the topic was raised." (Sumner adds: Give them the gospel. Tell them how God loves them and sent the Lord Jesus to suffer and die for their sins, paid their debt in full, rose again and was seen by hundreds" This gospel, this good news is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes" Rom 1:16.)

8. "I don't know enough." Ironically, the best way to grow in this area is to simply dive in and say what you do know. You can always delay answering a tough question until you've had time to look into it.

9. "In our church's tradition, we don't really talk about matters of personal faith." Your friends need to understand the Gospel message because it's "the power of God for salvation." Stretch yourself to communicate it in ways that fit you and them - perhaps writing letters, or sending books or tapes. Take small steps and you'll find yourself becoming increasingly comfortable.

10. "My church is more into teaching and worship than evangelism." Do not excuse negligence of one area because you have competence in another area. For the sake of lost people who matter to God, let's do all we can to reach them, personally and through the church. (Sumner adds: The five B's of ministry are "Be Balanced, Brother, Be Balanced.")

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