He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”Mark 16:15, NIV
One of the core spiritual disciplines is evangelism.
What is evangelism? Evangelism is sharing the good news of the gospel with other people.
The Bible calls this, The Great Commission, as recorded in Mark 16:15, Matthew 28:18-20 and Luke 24:46-47.
But how many Christians actively spread the gospel of Jesus Christ to the rest of their community?
One day I was talking to another parent at while our kids were at swim practice.
This young lady was venting to me about one of the new instructors at the YMCA. The instructor was former military, which made her a little rough around the edges.
I briefly mentioned that my father is a pastor, but he’s also former military, which at times causes friction with some of the congregants because he can be very direct with people.
However, over the years he learned to be a little less direct with people.
I assured her that the new instructor would get the hang of interacting with civilians as time went on.
Little did I know that this brief exchange would lead me down a new path. One I was not expecting.
I was swiftly assured that one of this woman’s many problems was that she was in fact a pastor’s wife, which made her “very religious”.
In her experience, religious people are the worst. Her sister was very religious, always sharing scriptures and whatnot. Her sister got on her nerves.
As a Christian, I was somewhat offended and taken aback by this woman’s comments. However, at the same time, I could see her point of view.
I think everybody knows or has met that “ very religious” person or “crazy” church lady that we all try to duck and hide from.
But are these people really so bad? After all, they are actively sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with the rest of the world.
How often do you (myself included) share the gospel with those around you? Are you vocal about your faith or do you censor yourself around friends and family for fear of alienating them?
Should we be like the crazy church lady when it comes to sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ? Let’s take a closer look at this issue.
Why Should We Evangelize?
Following the Great Commission
Do you often find yourself torn on how to interact with nonbelievers or people of a different faith?
I’ll admit that it’s easier for me to talk about my faith with other believers than it is with total strangers.
It would seem that I’m not the only person out there that struggles with this issue.
According to a report entitled, Reviving Evangelism, 47 percent of Christian millennial’s believe that it is wrong to share their faith with others.
47% of Christian Millennial’s believe it is wrong to share their faith with other people.Reviving Evangelism
Despite the fact that 86% of Christian millennials feel that they can answer questions about their faith, 73% say they are gifted at sharing their faith, and 96% of them believe that witnessing about Jesus is part of their faith. (You can find a part of that report here).
Based on the study Millennial Christians believe evangelism is wrong for the following reasons:
- They are more aware of the cultural climate toward spiritual conversations.
- They believe that people today are more likely to be offended if they share their faith.
However, there is a problem with the belief that sharing your faith is wrong.
The problem with the belief that evangelism is wrong, is that it is in direct conflict with scripture.
The Apostle Paul asks these important questions, ”How can people have faith in the Lord and ask him to save them if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear, unless someone tells them? (Rom 10:14, CEV).”
What does the Bible say about dealing with cultural sensitivity and offense?
Dealing With The Culture
Since the time of Christ, there has been opposition to the preaching of the Gospel. The Pharisees and Sadducees sought to kill Jesus and eventually crucified him. Afterward, they sought to kill and persecute the early members of the church.
What was so wrong with the message of Christ? It was counter-cultural. Everything Jesus stood for and preached about went against the cultural norms proposed by the religious leaders.
Jesus tells us in Matthew 24:9, “ “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.”
The current cultural climate in America is one of acceptance and tolerance for almost anything and everything. That is where sharing the gospel can cause conflict between Christians and their non-Christian peers.
Unlike other countries where Christians are and can be persecuted for their beliefs with physical harm, imprisonment, and other social injustices. Persecution in the US takes a different form.
While we are not imprisoned or killed for our beliefs we are often ostracized from our close family, friends, and co-workers.
You know that crazy church lady that we were talking about earlier… the one we avoid. (ouch)
But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household (Matt 10:33-36, KJV).
As Christians, we are not called to just go along with whatever the culture declares right and just. Everything we do should be balanced, filtered, and tested against the word of God.
That means that there are parts of our faith that will make us unpopular with the world around us.
In a culture where you are expected to accept the status quo as true and accurate or else be branded as a bigot or intolerant it can be hard to stand on your faith.
However, the only way to stand against the culture is to continue to stand on your faith and your beliefs as Christ did.
Which means our faith will cause us to be persecuted and will cause us to lose friends and family.
Dealing With Not Wanting to Offend Others
…but for those who do not believe, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,” and “A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.”They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.1 Peter 2: 7-8
Every Christian needs to understand that the gospel of Christ is offensive to those that do not believe. The only way you can not offend someone with the gospel is not to share it.
This is just what the enemy wants is for us to be silent about our faith because we don’t want to upset or disagree with someone.
This is the exact reason why the “overly religious” Christian is treated with such disdain by non-Christians and even fellow believers.
Could it be that being around these people causes us to be convicted because we aren’t sharing our faith enough?
Have you ever stopped to think about how often the world freely and often offends Christianity? Yet, we remain silent because we don’t want to offend those around us.
We should not be afraid of offending people. Because that is going to happen. What we should instead be focusing on is the way we share the gospel with those around us.
6 Tips on How to Share the Gospel
We know that the gospel is going to be offensive to those that don’t believe it.
While this may be true, that doesn’t mean that we have to present the gospel of Christ in an offensive manner.
The reason why most people run from the “crazy” church lady is because of the way the gospel is shared.
Even though their intentions are well-meaning they often come off as rude, preachy, and unauthentic to other people.
Instead when we evangelize we should strive to do the following:
1. Be Kind and Respectful
We should follow Peter’s advice.
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…(1 Peter 3:15,NIV).
We should be able to present the gospel of Christ with humility, gentleness, and respect. Not with condemnation and self-righteousness.
When the woman with an issue of blood pressed through the crowd and touched Jesus, even though she was considered unclean, Jesus did not yell at or berate her. Instead, he stopped and acknowledged her and commended her for her faith.
Whenever Jesus interacted with the lost, broken, and hurting he was filled with kindness and compassion. We should be the same way when we interact with unbelievers.
When you are acting like a jerk or snob nobody wants to listen to nor will they listen to what you have to say.
2. Don’t Argue With People
Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful ( 2 Tim 2: 23-24, NIV).
Many of the teachings of the Bible go against what is deemed acceptable in society.
Most recently the topics of abortion,LGBTQ+ marriage, and gender ideologies have taken center stage in America. These ideologies and lifestyles are in direct conflict with what the Bible teaches about the sanctity of life, marriage, sex, sexuality, and identity.
However, as Christians, we are not supposed to stand around and argue with people about what the Bible says on these matters.
If people are willing to have an open and respectful dialogue with you about it that’s okay. We should never get into shouting or yelling matches with people about what the word of God says.
If you can not defend the gospel in a calm and respectful manner, then walk away from the conversation. This allows you to maintain your integrity and ability to try to witness to this person again.
3. Be Real and Authentic
You don’t have to act super spiritual to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with non-Christians. The best way to share the gospel with someone is to share your own testimony with them. This makes you real and relatable.
Jesus, even though he didn’t sin, was still able to relate to his disciples and the people that followed him because he knew the struggles we faced as humans.
His life here on earth may have been a sinless one, but it was not without hardship.
Our hardships and struggles as Christians can open the door to witness to someone and share the goodness of God with them.
4. Keep It Simple
Don’t try to complicate the message of the cross. Keep it simple.
Now is not the time to give a lesson on theology. Start with Christ and end with Christ.
Cover the who, what, when, where, and why of the Gospel.
If they are ready to accept Jesus as their Lord and savior lead them in the prayer of salvation.
Then be ready to disciple that person. Don’t just get them saved and then vanish into the night.
Give them your number, and invite them to your church. Get them plugged into a Bible-based church.
5. Be Patient
Christians for various reasons can sometimes develop BC (before Christ) amnesia.
We tend to conveniently forget how big of a sinner we were before we gave our lives to Christ.
This can lead us to be impatient with people and our compassion towards our unbelieving friends and family begins to wane.
When that starts to happen we need to take a look back at our own life and where Jesus has brought us from.
How long did someone pray for us? How long did someone talk to us about Christ before we finally surrendered?
6. Have Compassion & Be Willing to Serve
We are called to care for our fellow man whether or not they are Christians.
When Jesus fed the 5000, it says he had great compassion on the crowd of people that had come to hear him.
I can guarantee you that there were people in the crowd that were not his disciples and had no desire to become his disciple.
There were religious leaders that were there just to hear what he said so they could find fault with him.
But Jesus took compassion on the crowd regardless of who was in it.
He took 2 little fish and 5 loaves of bread and feed them all.
No matter who is the in the crowd always be willing to serve your servants heart just might lead them to Christ.
Always remember that you were once a sinner, but Jesus had compassion on you and loved you despite your sins.
If you are looking for tips on how to share the gospel without being offensive you can read this article.
What’s Wrong With Being the Crazy Church Lady?
Honestly, I don’t think there is anything wrong with being the “crazy” church lady.
I believe that most of us don’t share the gospel because we are afraid of being labeled the “religious” person, church girl, Bible thumper, etc.
We’re afraid of missing out on something that the world has to offer when we already have the best gift in the universe.
It seems like maybe the “crazy” church lady or that religious friend is exactly who we should be. Just the kinder, gentler, and more compassionate version.
I’m not saying that you have to quote scriptures every 5 minutes or that every conversation that we have should be about Christ.
If he truly is our Lord and Savior and we are really grateful for all he has done for us we shouldn’t be afraid to tell others about him.
When you eat at a great restaurant you gladly tell your friends, family, and even strangers about it. We should take that same attitude with us about Christ.
He is depending on us to go out and share the gospel with all who are willing to hear.
How do you feel about evangelism? Do you know any “crazy” church ladies or gentlemen? Have your feelings or beliefs on evangelism changed? Please share your stories with me in the comment section.
As always, keep Jesus in the center of everything you do.
Your Sister in Christ