We share the gospel because men and women need to know they are loved by God.
I’ve seen people squirm and fidget whenever the topic of evangelism is mentioned. Of course, the reasons vary from person to person.
I wonder if some feel awkward engaging in an activity they’ve never, or seldom, done. They are awkward when it comes to sharing their faith.
But I’m convinced that none of us is very life-skilled, even about significant features of life. For instance, nobody is ready to get married; if we waited until we were, we would miss those joys of life. Nobody is ready to have children; if we waited until we were, the whole human race would end in this generation.
And nobody is ready to share their faith; if we waited until we were, the mission of God, mediated through His people, would come to a halt.
We cannot wait until we are ready. We function awkwardly throughout life. A toddler learning to walk falls down and gets bruised. A six-year-old taking the training wheels off the bicycle falls down and gets scratched. In fact, every new endeavor in life reveals that we are awkward. One could say if we are not awkward someplace in our lives, then we are just not growing.
For others, the squirming about evangelism may be a result of watching those who shared the gospel abusively. There are those who use the Bible as if it were a club to coerce and bludgeon people to God. Such insensitivity seldom bears kingdom fruit. Nevertheless, those who are turned off by abuse fail to realize that silence in matters of the gospel also contributes to the failure of the Church; it does not correct the abuse.
In fact, Thomas Aquinas wrote in the Summa Theologica that “an abuse does not nullify a proper use.” If we judged any segment of society by its worst examples, …