Q: “How do I respectfully evangelize? Is it wrong to talk about God around people who don’t believe in him? How can I share my faith without fear?”
A: Any time a controversial topic is brought up, lines are drawn and sides are immediately chosen. Since a lot of us tend to struggle with desiring the approval of others, challenges arise during discussions because we want to avoid conflict and confrontation. We fear sharing our beliefs because we don’t want to offend someone or even lose a friend.
What if she stops talking to me? What if he ends up hating me? What if it ruins our friendship? What if she asks a question that I’m not sure how to answer?
All of the above has previously stopped me from sharing my faith with friends and family, but this doesn’t have to always happen. We can share our faith respectfully and without fear.
God calls us to share our faith with others through our actions and words. The words part can make some of us tremble in fear. The root of this fear is the lack of control we have when we share our faith with another. We have no idea how they’ll respond, and of coarse – we always think of the worst possible ending.
Friends, we have no control over what the other person will think or say. Sometime when we share our faith, we get flustered and stumble over words, so we really have no control over our words or the words of others. The good news is that we worship a God who IS in control. God holds the whole world in his hands (Isaiah 40:12), including all the conversations we have with our loved ones.
“Do not tremble, do not be afraid.
Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago?
You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me?
No, there is no other Rock; I know not one.” (Isaiah 44:8 NIV)
Here are some tips to help you share your faith respectfully and without fear:
1) Remove the stress and pressure. God is the only one who can open someone’s heart to receiving the gospel (Ezekiel 36:26-27). This removes the stress of the person’s reaction.
2) Give the Holy Spirit control. Instead of worrying about what you will say, focus on listening to the Holy Spirit and having a spirit filled conversation.
3) Pray. When you pray before, during and after a conversation, you will be so full of the Holy Spirit that you are relying 100% on him and 0% on your own ability. When you are 100% following the Spirit’s lead, He will talk for you and lead you in a respectful conversation.
4) Listen. Ask questions to discover where your friend is on his or her spiritual journey. Try to listen more than you talk.
5) Don’t force anything. Maybe it is not the right time for them to hear the gospel. Keep them in your prayers and pray that God gives you another, better time to share.
6) Avoid the ‘shocked’ face. Try to never be shocked over something the person says. They may share a secret sin with you and you never expected those words to come out of their mouth. Don’t act shocked. The person probably already feels shameful and worried that you will judge them, so instead thank them for sharing with you and encourage them that you are just as broken and sinful.
7) Stay true to the Bible. You can still fully respect someone and have completely different beliefs. Never change your beliefs as an act to ‘respect’ someone. This helps no one. It makes you feel weird, it keeps the gospel hidden from your friend, and most importantly it saddens God. Remember when Peter denied Jesus?
I pray that these tips will help you share your faith with your friends and family.
Comment below and share what has been the hardest part of sharing your faith with others!
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Andrewat (8 years ago)
Great advice! I think sometimes I overcomplicate things, but sharing your faith doesn’t have to be difficult.
joypedrowat (8 years ago)
Thanks Andrew! You’re right – we tend to over think and over analyze, but it doesn’t have to be that complicated.
Karaat (8 years ago)
Ran across this on Pinterest. I have been pondering this very subject for a few weeks now! Thank you for the good points to keep in mind.
I feel the hardest part of sharing my faith is to be… I don’t know, compassionate? Maybe that’s the word to use. My faith in Christ and the Bible is so logical and concrete to me. In my mind, it’s as plain as 2+2=4. And I feel I go right into debate mode and proofs. Which isn’t the right way at all and definitely draws those lines in the sand you mentioned.
joypedrowat (8 years ago)
Hi Kara! I’m glad you found my blog on Pinterest. Isn’t it cool how God leads us to topics over and over again? Spend some time thinking about how your life was before Christ – this will help you relate to non-believers in a deeper way. If you can’t remember life without Jesus, (for example if you have been saved for most of your life) think about the moments you doubted God, was angry at him, or burdened by life. Take yourself back to those moments when sharing you faith with others. Hope this helps!
DANIEL PARKSat (8 years ago)
THE HARDEST PART IS THINKING THAT I WILL FAIL GOD
Ndukuat (4 years ago)
Thanks for sharing. I have this desire for God to save my ex who is my baby’s father. I have tried to share with him the word of God but I sometimes I feel weird. I do not know how to really approach him given that we have a past because I don’t want to take my focus from God. I really really pray for him everyday that God will open his heart so that he can receive Christ his Lord and Saviour. I do know that it is not by my power nor by might but it is by the SPIRIT of GOD that works in our souls and hearts to repent and into salvation. I pray that GOD at His perfect time He will answer my prayers
joypedrowat (4 years ago)
Praying right now for him!!