Blog Post January 24, 2013 Paul Hockley
How To Overcome Your Fear and Speak About Jesus
I had a boldness breakthrough in my last year of high school. I had realized that it was time to show the world I didn’t care what they thought about me. I was determined to make a statement. So I prepared in all secrecy the boldest, most radical plan I had ever devised. The following day I came to school a bit shaky as you could clearly see on me the daring statement:
I was not wearing hair-wax.
We all struggle at times with different types of fear, some more rational than others. I don’t know for you, but I have missed many opportunities to tell others about Jesus. I have listened to stupid, discouraging thoughts. I may still not be the boldest person in the world, but have traveled a long journey since high school. I can engage different people I meet, and share my faith in a simple way. Here are some simple things that have helped me overcome my fears:
1. Ask God to Fill Your Heart With Love
“Well-formed love banishes fear. 1 John 4:18”
This is the first and most obvious step. If you do not care about something, you will do nothing about. If you truly love people, and understand they are going towards an eternity without Him, you will want to win them for Christ. In my own life, if I stop caring that people are going to an eternity apart from Christ, I know something is wrong. I need to come to God again, and ask Him to fill me with His love.
2. Determine The Worst Case Scenario
Think right now: What is realistically the worst thing that could happen if you told someone about Jesus? For me, that’s probably the person I speak to getting out a gun, putting it to my forehead and saying they will kill me. Okay, just kidding. I said realistically. It could be they don’t want to speak about it and walk away, it could be they laugh a little, it could be they think I’m strange. But it could also be they get to experience God, to feel His love, to encounter His grace, and to change their eternal destiny. That is enough to make it worth the risk.
3. Don’t Give Yourself Too Much Time to Think
There is a sign on a Floridian beach for the lifeguards that says:
“If in doubt, go”
A lifeguard knows that if he sees someone in the distance that could be drowning, he should not stay on his chair. He should not debate with himself whether he should go and check it out or not.
The principle is the same for me. When I sense a nudge from God to go and speak to someone, the more I wait, the more I wrestle with myself, the more I diminish my chances of speaking to the person. But if I act immediately on the impulse without taking time to think of all the reasons why this person will not be interested, I often have good conversations, and people experience God. So if you are in doubt whether God is asking you to speak to a person, go anyway!
4. Have Your Opening Sentence Ready
This is what stops most people from taking the first step: “What am I going to say?” I shared my most common opening line in an earlier post:
“Hello, do you speak English? (I live in Norway) My name is Paul, I come from France and I am a Christian. I love to speak with people about God and to hear what they believe, or if you don’t believe at all, or hate Christians (in a joking way). So, do you believe in God?”
Around 80-85 % of the people I speak to start saying why they do or don’t believe in God. The hardest part is through, they are now doing the speaking.
5. Have Your Following Question Ready
- If they say they don’t believe in God, my follow up question is simple:
“Are there any special reasons why you don’t believe in Him?”
This allows me to immediately know where they are in their journey towards God. Sometimes they believe science has disproved God, or have had a bad experience with Christians, the answers are many. But again, they are the ones doing the talking.
- If they do believe in God, you have common ground! My question to them is then sometimes:
“Have you ever experienced Him personally?”
That is another question for me to decide how to approach the next phase of the conversation.
6. Remember That People are Open
A friend of mine once said this:
The place in the world where people are the most closed to the gospel is in the minds of the Christians.
He has a point! If I approach people in a humble way, being willing to listen to them first, then most people that I speak to are at open to share their experiences, and to hear what I have experienced with God. Jesus said that the harvest is plentiful, and that applies all over the world. I often need to remind myself of this!
Share Your Thoughts
Do you have any good tips about overcoming fear to speak about Jesus that you would like to share? Or any questions? Then I’d love to hear your comments!
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