1. THE ISSUE OF FEAR
Fear is the number one reason we do not speak to people about Jesus. It’s usually fear of rejection and we all hate rejection because we are social by nature. In some cultures it can also be fear of trouble.
Fear is imagining something bad will happen if we act. Many traditional Christians will have a fear of sharing the gospel as it is not part of their church DNA. Going to church and staying safe is their highest priority. They hear stories of bad things happening to those who share Jesus with others, so they don’t do anything.
However, fear only lasts until you take the first step! Eventually you will master the new skill of sharing Jesus in ways that people accept and appreciate, and then it is a breeze.
Even Paul experienced fear (1 Corinthians 2:1-3). But he was not ashamed of the Gospel (2 Timothy 1:8). And he encouraged others not to fear (Philippians 1:27-28)
2. TAPPING INTO GODS HEART OF LOVE FOR PEOPLE
If we first understand the enormous compassion God has for lost people it will help us overcome our fear and replace it with his compassion. The parable of the lost sheep (Luke 15:1-7) helps us understand the compassion of God for lost people:
What does the parable say about God’s heart?
What does it say about humans?
What is the challenging part?
What is God telling you to do with this challenge?
If you love someone you would never fear them. You would care for them. Ask the Lord to replace your fear with a heart of compassion and love for the lost. Ask Him to share with you a little of his own feelings toward the lost.
Below are some scriptures on this topic:
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
3. SOUTH INDIAN EXAMPLE OF OVERCOMING FEAR
A few years ago there is a South Indian state where some 10% of pastors were being bashed after the BJP came to power. Evangelism was banned and there were legal prosecutions. Pastors were frightened to send out workers door to door. There was great fear in the whole body of Christ.
Colin and Carolyn Craggs, Australian missionaries to this state who knew how to do DMM, decided to push through the fear barrier and go out anyway with small teams to people’s homes to share Jesus. They trained for half an hour each time and then sent them out to knock on doors and ask one simple question:
We are praying blessings on the local neighbourhood: “If God could do a miracle for you today what would it be?
One day one it worked with a family that received an answer to prayer and that opened the door for a meeting in their home. They gave their hearts to Jesus and were immediately discipled. Soon there are three separate streams of DMM churches beneath that first group, and some are already down to the fourth generation of house churches. Many other church leaders saw what was happening and are now stepping outside their traditional concept of church in a building on a Sunday and adopting these clever, low key methods.
4. PAKISTAN EXAMPLE OF OVERCOMING FEAR
There was a church in Lahore, Pakistan, that recently decided one Sunday to train its people to go out and pray a blessing on people in their neighbourhood instead of just listening to another Sunday service. Many were frightened when they went out that first day as they had never done this before. Some went straight home!. However when those that did go out came back 45 minutes later they were so excited at the receptiveness of non-Christians to an offer to pray for them. Testimony after testimony came back of appreciation for this act of kindness and love. The community was touched. Fear disappeared and was replaced with an attitude of love and faith. Other churches found out about this and did the same. The results came in exactly the same, whether in the city or the village. Faith replaced fear every time.
5. THERE’S STRENGTH IN PAIRS!
Why do you think Jesus told his disciples to evangelise in twos? With two people listening to the voice of Jesus and obeying his prompting, they would more quickly have found the Person of Peace they were told to look for (Luke 10:5). There is strength and courage in twos that is missing when on your own, especially in most places in the world where it is dangerous to preach the Good News. Try it and see if it helps.
- Perfect love drives out fear. Begin to see sowing Gospel seeds as an act of love for the lost.
- Make a list of all the different types of suffering that people go through at the hands of Satan. This will give you a heart of compassion for the lost.
- Remember the Holy Spirit has gone before you and prepared hearts.
- Push through the fear, it will dissipate very quickly as you move out into the harvest field
- For first timers, go out with someone who is more experienced.
- If still unsure and afraid then simply pray as you go and don’t do anything until you feel a prompting by the Holy Spirit.