By Zack DeBerry
There is a word that we don’t say much in the church. Maybe because we don’t understand it or maybe we are just afraid of it. As we start a new series called the “E” Word I wanted to get something off my chest.
I want to come clean with everyone and let you know that I hate Evangelism. I know that may come as a shock, but stick with me as I give you 3 reasons why I hate it.
3 Reasons I Hate Evangelism
1. It Can Be Impersonal
I hate the idea of Evangelism because many times it can be impersonal. When I was taught to share the gospel with anyone and everyone I always had a terrible feeling that it would never really work out. I think that many people struggle with this same idea.
When we think about sharing our faith with someone I think many people have the idea of the guy on the corner with a bullhorn and a sign that says “Repent” in red letters with flames. When I think about Evangelism like this it makes me hate it.
I think the better way to look at it would be to look at the people that you are connected to and consider to be friends and start there. You will have a better chance of sharing your faith story with someone who actually knows you and can see the difference it makes in your life.
2. It Can Seem Self-Righteous
Another reason I hate Evangelism is because it can come across as self-righteous or judgmental. Let’s be honest: when we attempt to share our faith we struggle with the idea of what the other person will think about us. That’s just human nature.
Many times people approach Evangelism from the standpoint of “let me tell you what you need to make your life better.” Nothing turns me off more than when people basically say “you’re doing it wrong.” I think many people have a bad taste in their mouth when it comes to Evangelism because they feel judged.
I think the better way is to be honest about our struggles and shortcomings before we ever try to help others see the hope that is offered through a relationship with Jesus. When we start with the understanding that we are all broken and in need of help it puts us on equal ground with everyone and may lead to more fruitful conversations of faith.
3. I Don’t Always Have the Answers
The last reason I hate Evangelism is that many times I am afraid that I might not be able to answer a question that someone may ask me. I have always been a “learner” and try to be in the know as much as possible, but I have a fear that I will not have a critical answer at the right time.
When we get the opportunity to share our faith, there are bound to be moments when someone will have a question. What if we can’t answer that question? Will that turn them off from following Jesus? This is a common problem when it comes to sharing your faith.
What I have learned and what is important to remember is that I will never have all the answers. The best thing I can do is to be comfortable enough in MY faith to admit that I don’t know it all, but I am constantly seeking answers through the bible and prayer in my relationship with Jesus. Sometimes people aren’t looking for the right answer, just and honest one.
So there it is, 3 reasons I hate Evangelism.
However, I think if I take the time to invest in the relationships God gives me, become authentic with those people about my struggles, and just admit that we are in process as followers of Jesus, then maybe I can learn to at least become open to the possibility of sharing my faith.
As we unpack what it looks like to humbly point everyone to absolute hope with our life and our stories I hope the “E” Word will be something that we can become more comfortable with in our life.