There are many reasons that people give for not being a witness for the Lord. However, many are just excuses. God has equipped us and commanded us to be witnesses of what He has done for us in our lives.
Matthew 28:19, 20 “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
Mark 16:15 “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”
Acts 1:8 “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
Following are 8 common excuses people give for not evangelizing those around them. I hope it is an encouragement to you to know that others struggle with many of the same things you do. And, that you will draw some strength from my answer to these excuses.
They may ask a question I can’t answer
This is probably the biggest reason people give as to why they do not witness. And, it is true that the person you are witnessing to may ask a question that you don’t know the answer to. However, if they are interested in knowing about the Lord, then they are also probably willing to let you find the answer.
Sometimes people will ask questions that do nothing more than distract you from what you are trying to share. Don’t let those distractions keep you from the point of the Gospel. You can handle questions that are irrelevant at the moment by saying, “That is a good question that I can answer after I get through sharing this with you.” You can even offer to write down the question so that you can come back to it later. Most of the time I find that people didn’t really care about the answer, they were only looking for a way to throw you off track.
If the question is a legitimate one and you don’t have the answer for them, ask them to let you find the answer and get back with them. This gives you a chance to study out the answer for yourself in the Bible and you have a reason to call on the person again. If you need help finding the answer, ask your pastor. He would certainly be glad to help you learn.
Scared of what? Do you think they are going to punch you? There are people who live in countries with real persecution. It is possible to lose your life trying to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with friends and family in those countries. But most of us do not live under that type of persecution. In fact, because you are reading this website, you probably are given great religious freedom in your country to share the good new of the Gospel with those around you.
Pray and ask God for boldness. Paul asked for boldness in Ephesians 6:18-20. If Paul needed boldness and asked for it, I think God would be willing to grant it to you if you asked.
It is not my responsibility
If it isn’t your responsibility then whose is it? I know we think that evangelizing is part of the pastor’s job, and it is, but the Bible does not say, “some of you go into the world and preach the Gospel.” Jesus was speaking to the disciples and many others standing around when He told them to go and teach (Matthew 28:19, 20). When Christ ascended into Heaven in Acts chapter 1 He told those present that they were being sent (Acts 1:8) to be witnesses. Christ did not pick out certain people to be His witnesses. He told everyone who was there that they would be witnesses for Him.
I don’t know how to witness
That is a valid excuse…for about a week. You may not know how right now, but you can certainly learn. Ask your pastor to teach you. There are many books and online resources where you can learn to be an effective witness for the Lord.
One of the simplest ways to witness is to tell other people how you got saved and what Christ has done for you. If you understood the Gospel well enough to have accepted it, then you probably can do a great job in explaining it to someone else.
I don’t speak well
Moses used that excuse too in Exodus 4:10. He told God that he was not able to speak well. God’s reply was that He (God) had made Moses exactly like he was. God then said that Aaron could be Moses’ mouthpiece when speaking to Pharaoh. Interestingly, only once does the Bible say that Aaron spoke on Moses’ behalf. Moses apparently overcame this supposed physical inability to speak for the Lord.
I have known people with serious speech impediments who have been bold witnesses for the Lord. Don’t let lack of speaking ability keep you from sharing your faith.
I don’t know how to start a conversation about the Lord
One of the easiest methods I know is to just ask a person what they believe about God. You get a chance to hear what they have already formulated in their mind which will help you know what error they may already be believing.
One day while standing in a bookstore I struck up a casual conversation with another patron. Immediately we found a common topic and spent 30 minutes talking about it. I felt like the Lord brought that person to me so that I could share the Gospel with them. But I never turned the conversation to the Lord. I continued on with the present conversation and walked away without even asking the person about their salvation. God brings that to mind often to help me remember that I can easily talk to strangers about many things; therefore, I know I can talk to them about the Lord. It is only an excuse to say that I don’t know how to start a conversation.
I am afraid my friends will remember the bad things I have done. Or I don’t have a good testimony today
As far as your past is concerned, you can share about how God has changed your life. Use your former life as a testimony to what God can do in a person if they will give their life to Him.
However, if you have a poor testimony before your friends today, then you need to get on your knees and ask the Lord to forgive you. Ask Him to show you what needs to be corrected and get the help you need from Him. Then ask Him to give you opportunities to make your testimony right before your friends.
I don’t have time
Yet you have time for TV, Facebook and hanging out with your friends on Friday night? I know you are probably very busy. Who of us isn’t? Yet we spend our days around people with whom we can share the Gospel. Live a good testimony around others and share the Lord when you have small opportunities. When you have more time to spend with someone it will not be strange for them if you begin to share your faith. This can be done on a short ride to the store or from one job site to another. You may not be able to dedicate 2 hours weekly to a soul winning program at your church, but you do have time to share the greatest news with those around you.
One of my favorite verses is Proverbs 28:1, “The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are as bold as a lion.” When you feel like you can’t witness to those around you, it may be because you are not living right. You feel like they are judging you and won’t listen when the truth is they want to know what you have and what makes you different. If you will live right and talk right then this verse says that you can become as bold as a lion ready to share your faith with those you meet.
I want to encourage you to write out your testimony and have it ready to share with someone. If you have never witnessed for the Lord before, this is a great first step.
Looking for similar articles of encouragement? Take a look at these:
The Holy Bible, King James Version
YouTube video “God of this city” performed by Chris Tomlin