Have you ever being unfairly labelled with any of the above while evangelising? For many Christians the fear of being labelled or described with these terms is a barrier to us sharing the Gospel. Perhaps, it even stops us completely from sharing our faith.
If we are scared about evangelism, sharing the gospel, our faith or our hope in Jesus Christ, it is because we are conscious that what we have to share is likely to upset someone or invade his or her space, or labelled. The obstacle of the cross is unpleasant to those who are perishing, but light to those who are being saved. Respective governments drive to promote political correctness terrifies many for fear of negative labelling, so evangelism remains in its box. However, we dare not eliminate cultural obstacles or the offence that is inherent in the Gospel. Christians should not make the cross more offensive than it is, but we should not try to abolish the offence. The offence is part of the nature of the Gospel of Christ. Nevertheless, how do we overcome our fear of sharing our faith?
In the 10 weeks course I ran recently with the saints in Wembley, I explained that the more often we communicate and act confidently, is the more our courage will grow. Communication skills may not be the territory of the average member, but sure should be for the leaders. Yet confidence comes, to a greater degree, from training in understanding how to do personal, friendship and relational evangelism. Preparation increases everyone confidence, and self-assurance increases our bravery, the opposite of fear. These in turn permit us to be more effective when you go out and engage with people about the Gospel of Christ. As Christians, we must resolve that we are going to stand diplomatically as Christ disciples and convincingly evangelise, share the gospel of Christ, God’s Word, Emmanuel, even in the face of political correctness and vile resistance.
As we take our stand in the world as soldiers in the army of God, adopt the posture with confidence; know that God through the power of His Holy Spirit is standing with us, and we are not alone. The battle is not ours, it is the Lords, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Eph. 6: 12). We need to know our enemy, and know the terrain of battle; it is not physical, but spiritual.
We must be encouraged that many followers of Christ and other Christian Ambassadors are active in the fight too. It is why we exist as Christians. Leaders trained in the principles and practices of evangelism should in turn provide training to his congregation using all the modern methods and resources possible. We cannot do it, if we were not trained in it. We do not pick up teachers off the streets to train our children, how then we tolerate this in the churches of Christ? A person who rejects this training of leaders will one day realise, they are the enemies of the state, the spiritual kingdom of God and doing a disservice to themselves and others, thereby blocking progress. No wonder a recent survey of international church leaders finds that only 2% of church leaders are in the right role, which means the church is operating at 10% of its capabilities. Can you imagined if all leaders where trained, and all placed in the right role the spirit gifted them? Can anyone imagine the powerhouse the church would be if Satan has not affected it so, taken a seat in it? By placing men as leaders who are egotistically driven, more concerned about personal image, the church is limping along. The ‘look at me’, look where I am’ mentality over and above representing God’s image is the order of the modern church leaders.
If industry leaders were not trained, their companies would go bust, so boards looked for men with skills and capabilities to run their companies. Likewise, if church leaders are not gifted and trained the church cannot establish its presence in the community effectively as Christ intended. How do we think the Holy Spirit will bring things back to memory if it was not there in the first place through education and training? Of course, the Holy Spirit reveals new things when He chooses, but we must understand what the Scriptures are teaching. Christ called many, but ended up training 12 who were invested with the task of spreading the gospel. The Holy Spirit came after the 12 were trained and Christ departed from them, then they received power to go and courage to witness, to go and tell it. We can encourage from the pulpit, even reinforce the message through preaching, but to equip with the skills to do it, we ourselves must be trained in the art of delivery. We must know how to instruct others in one to one, group sessions or in personal demonstration, in our communities, when we visit or do house to house. We as leaders are here to equip the members for every challenge to the faith we have in Christ. How do we react when labelled or described with the above terms? Today, take a stand, to move with confidence, act with courage to speak without fear and share the gospel.