Have you ever doubted your abilities or effectiveness as a witness? I’ll admit, I have. I want to discuss some misconceptions about sharing the gospel that fuels fear in my heart and the hearts of other about witnessing. If you’ve struggled like I have with any of these, my intention is not to discourage you, but rather I pray you will be fully equipped to boldly take the Gospel of truth to the world.
Before reading on, I encourage you to read the first entries in this series. Click here to access them #1: YOU MUST BE GOOD AT IT and #2: EVERYTHING IN YOUR OWN LIFE HAS TO BE TOGETHER.
#3: The only way to get someone saved is to invite them to church
Asking people to come to church is a great way to get them to hear to Gospel, but it is not the only way. Here are two main reasons why we need to look past this misconception and find alternate ways to witness to others.
1. Some people may never attend church
I’ve heard many pastors say, “if you just keep asking, they will eventually say yes” or “bring a friend with you next time”. That may be mostly true and may work, but those people you keep nagging to come may just come out of obligation or to get you to stop nagging them – that is not exactly a positive reason to come to church. There is no guarantee of tomorrow. Listening to the leading of the Holy Spirit, and you’ll know when the right time is to invite someone to church or when we should share the Gospel with them personally instead. If you don’t know where to start, ask God, ask the Holy Spirit to guide you, to present you with opportunities (Acts 1: 7-8). This isn’t a task you have to take on alone. God will give you the wisdom and the courage you need to speak the truth in love.
2. Some people have grown callous toward the truth after years of blasé attendance
I’m talking about witnessing to those who have already attended church for a while —perhaps even their whole life and haven’t heard or being moved by the Good News of the Gospel.
There may be those, in church, who you believe to be a Christian, to be followers of Christ. They attend church, they worship and sing praises, they pray out loud in a small group meeting, and they talked like a Christian. It seems obvious that they must be believers, but you soon realise by personal conversations and interactions with them that it’s not as you thought. In reality, they don’t know what they believe and their view of the Gospel simply as a spiritual concept religious people talk about.
Someday day, not in your timing but in God’s way and in God’s timing, something will happen to change their perspective. Something may happen in their lives that they cannot manage on their own, that brings them down and depressed or that have serious consequences. That is when they will come to you and say they want to open up to you because they respect you and they need some advice and guidance. Your first thoughts may be to give practical and logical advice, but through the prompting of the Spirit, I pray, you will say “You need Jesus.”
This is your opportunity to listen, foremost, and then share with them openly about the times in your life when you felt like your own life was falling apart and how the only person who could do anything about it was Jesus Christ. Give your testimony.
Do not be surprised when you get through to them, that’s Jesus at work. Instead of brushing it off like normal, they may surprise you and listen attentively. Some people don’t need another friend to ask them to church. Some people need a friend to simply speak the truth to them in love.
The main theme here is whether you do it in a church setting or a personal one on one conversation – be ambassadors for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:18-20).