Introvert? Don't Shy Away from Evangelism
- Thursday, May 14, 2009
Overcome your fears. Face your fears about evangelism: from being the focus of attention and wondering how you’re being perceived to being embarrassed after saying the wrong thing and risking rejection for what you say. Notice the common element that runs through all those fears – a focus on yourself. Shift your focus outward, toward the people you hope to reach for Christ and their needs. Remember that God will empower you do whatever He calls you to do, so you won’t have to try to muster enough strength on your own. Instead, simply pray for God to work through you, and trust Him to do so. Focus on loving the people you’re trying to reach rather than your technique in reaching them, because perfect love drives out fear. Pray about your fears and expect God to help you, working through you in powerful ways.
Become a channel of God’s grace to people. You can communicate God’s grace to unbelievers in ways they’ll understand if you pray for the wisdom to do so well. Keep in mind that you don’t always have to communicate through speaking; you can share your faith in powerful ways through writing, as well (such as through e-mailing non-Christian friends). Stay close to God so you can see where He wants to use you and how He wants you to respond in each situation. Relax and let God work through you in His way, in His time, and in His strength.
Make Jesus your role model for evangelism. Just as Jesus turned ordinary encounters into supernatural appointments, you can minister to people you encounter while going about your daily life. Be available to respond to needs as they arise, in the way that you’re wired to meet those needs. Remember that you don’t have to meet every need that’s out there – just the ones that God puts in your path. Just as Jesus met people where they were and moved them one step closer to God, you can do the same. Ask God to help you avoid distractions, be completely present with each person, and be sensitive to what God wants to do through our conversation. Just as Jesus prayed often to His Father, you need to pray often for God to minister through you. Spend plenty of focused time with God in prayer, so He’ll work through your life to draw others to Himself.
Listen well. Approach each conversation you have with unbelievers with the mindset of learning something from them rather than worrying about how to accomplish your agenda with them. View them as people to get to know better and love rather than as projects to complete. Keep in mind that unbelievers have valuable knowledge and experience you don’t have. Give them a chance to share it with you. When you listen to them, you’ll build trust between you, which will gradually make them open to hearing what you have to say about faith in Christ.
Resist Satan’s schemes. Stay alert to what Satan is trying to do to interfere with your efforts to share your faith. He wants you to be distracted, so stay focused on what’s most important. He wants you and your fellow Christians to be divided, so don’t compare your gifts to others and guard against jealousy and pride. He wants you to be deceived, so spend time regularly reading the Bible so you’ll know the truth and be able to apply it to any situation. He wants you to be discouraged, so remember God’s promise to always be with you and pray for the courage you need to share your faith well. If you resist Satan, he will flee from you.
Influence people. You don’t need to be concerned about trying to control or coerce people into coming to faith in Christ. All you should do is aim to influence them by introducing them to Christ and encourage them to develop their own relationships with Him. You can do that naturally by simply finding common ground in the relationships you have with others. Share more than just the religious part of your life with others; show them how your faith permeates your entire life by discussing all subjects with them – parenting, your job topics, news events, etc. Ask God to reveal the needs of the people He brings into your path. Build friendships with them so they’ll trust you enough to open up to you and discuss their real concerns. Offer to pray for them. Let them see how you handle similar challenges in your own life. When they observe how your relationship with Christ makes a positive difference in your life, they’ll be drawn to Him themselves.
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