Introvert? Don't Shy Away from Evangelism
- Thursday, May 14, 2009
Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Mike Bechtle's book, Evangelism for the Rest of Us: Sharing Christ within Your Personality Style, (Baker Books, 2006).
You know that God wants you to share His Gospel message and you’d genuinely like to see others come to know Him. But if you’re an introvert, you probably dread evangelism, because the traditional methods turn you off. Knocking on strangers’ doors? Forcing conversations with people in public places? Not for you.
Still, God has called introverts to evangelize just as much as extroverts. There are many ways to share your faith. You may never preach the Gospel from a street corner, but you can evangelize just as successfully as any extrovert. In fact, as an introvert, you have unique strengths that extroverts don’t have, and tapping into those will help you share your faith in powerful ways.
Here’s how you can use your unique strengths as an introvert to share your faith:
Stop trying to be someone you’re not. Trying to act like an extrovert when you evangelize will only frustrate you and make you less effective. You’ll work hard with few results and likely give up. So instead of trying to be faithful to someone else’s idea of what evangelism should look like, be faithful to God’s customized idea of how you should evangelize. Keep in mind that God designed you the way He did so you could carry out His purposes in a unique way. If you try to evangelize like someone else does, you rob the people you want to reach for Christ of the distinct blessings God wants to give them through you. So be yourself when you evangelize.
Recognize your advantages. As an introvert, you have some advantages in evangelism that extroverts don’t. Some of those advantages are: You tend to be sensitive when you approach other people. You tend to be more aware of your dependence on God to work through you rather than relying on your own personality to draw people. You tend to have the patience to let God use you over a long period of time in someone’s life instead of focusing just on that person’s immediate decision about Christ. You tend to build deep relationships with the people you reach.
Keep key biblical principles in mind. Take unnecessary pressure off yourself by remembering these key concepts of evangelism: Evangelism is a team effort, so you’re just one of several or perhaps many people who God will use to move someone closer to faith. Hanging out with non-Christians is essential; you can’t influence people toward faith if you’re not involved with unbelievers. You don’t “do” evangelism; God does. It’s God’s job to actually draw people to Himself. Your job is simply to lift God up before other people. God will use you the way He made you. The more you get in touch with your uniqueness, the more effective you’ll be sharing your faith and doing whatever else God calls you to do. Satan does the opposite of what God does, so be aware that he’ll try to discourage you and render your evangelism ineffective. Learn how to resist evil so your evangelistic efforts will be successful.
Distinguish between form and function. Although the form of evangelism can be different for different people in different situations, the function is till to bring people to Christ. Focus on the function and be open to whatever form works best for you to share your faith, as God leads you. Don’t restrict yourself to traditional forms of evangelism. Be creative and open to hearing from God about to share your faith in different ways.
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