8 Common Excuses Christians Give To Not Evangelize

by David Peach · Print Print · Email Email

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.

I’m scared

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

Mark 16:15 “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”

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:

Resources:

The Holy Bible, King James Version

YouTube video “God of this city” performed by Chris Tomlin



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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Ryan November 29, 2012 at 2:21 pm

What is your opinion on the disparity between modern lifestyle and how Jesus and the disciples evangelized?

Does our modern lifestyle “get in the way” or “water down” the great commission?

If a christian spends his creative talents and time in another occupation, is he being disobedient to the commission? Example, I’m a programmer and work at a corporation. Should I program for a missionary organization?

Reply

Jack Wellman November 29, 2012 at 4:59 pm

Hello Ryan. I can not speak for David but what do you mean by the disparity between the modern lifestyle and how Jesus and the disciples evangelized? I do door to door, I do street evangelism, I hand out Bible tracts in the stores, in the nursing home where I have a Weds night Bible study, in the thrift store, etc. Isn’t this what Jesus and His disciples did? Go into all the world to preach the Gospel (Matt 28:18-20 & Acts 1:8)?

I don’t think my or other Christians let life get in the way but the vast majority do not witness or share the gospel. How do they water it down sir? What do you mean Ryan?

I believe Christians are where they are in work or school because of God’s sovereignty and there are lost people in all occupations and schools in the world and so we are not being disobedient to the Great Commission. At least those who share the gospel are not, but I give you the fact that many Christians never share their faith with others.

Hey, I love the idea for programming for a missionary organization. You can enter into the fields of the harvest and share in the rewards with the missionaries. Your work is better enabling missionaries to do their job through technology. Superb idea Ryan. Love it! Thanks friend.

Reply

Ryan November 30, 2012 at 8:56 am

Disparity meaning Jesus and the disciples did nothing but go around and preach the gospel. No possessions, etc… Whereas now, even those that evangelize hold down jobs, build material wealth, etc…

Water down meaning…even if you justify having a full material life with some evangelizing on the side, you are not walking in the fullness that god has.
Luke 18: 29-30:
29“I tell you the truth,” Jesus said to them, “no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God 30will fail to receive many times as much in this age and, in the age to come, eternal life.”

So, basically, Jesus and the disciples display how to walk the christian life, but in modern times %99 of christians don’t come near that. Most justify this by saying not to translate the text literally, which in my opinion, leaves a lot of room to interpret the scriptures with subjectivity. I’m looking for an objective and real god, not subjective to one’s thoughts and opinions.

I guess overall, is the Jesus model of living the christian life (full time ministry trusting god will provide) an option or is it truly how christians should live?

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Jack Wellman November 30, 2012 at 9:18 am

Ryan, where did you get that 99% of Christians don’t come near that? What source? Jesus is the model on how we should live, yes.

Reply

Ryan November 30, 2012 at 9:30 am

Ok, you got me, I made up %99 percent. What I meant was, I’ve never heard of a missionary that has given up their possessions and did nothing but go throughout the world and preach the gospel. And that is how they spend their life.

Do you know anyone that lives like Jesus and the disciples?

Jack Wellman November 30, 2012 at 9:54 am

The late Mother Teresa gave up all but I don’t personally know of others.

Reply

Ryan November 30, 2012 at 9:57 am

Me neither. I can’t tell whether christians should take this calling literally or not. It’s not really clear.

Jack Wellman November 29, 2012 at 4:53 pm

Hello David. I plead guilty to about 6 of these 8 but I have discovered from experience that it gets easier over time and when I think about it, it is in love that I share the gospel. To not warn others of the coming wrath of God is to think about myself first and fear man over God. Truly wonderful sir. I love evangelism and am so passionate today because for so many years, it was the “great omission” that I was on instead of the “Great Commission” the imperative command and God forgive me.

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Shelly Sorem November 29, 2012 at 6:56 pm

I wholeheartedly agree with you that everyone should take the time to write their testimony. It is a great tool to have to share Christ with others but it also increases your own faith as you look back on all the things God has done for you and all the ways He has been working in your life and the lives of those around you. I think one of the most non-threatening ways to share Christ is to simply talk about what He is currently doing in your life or what He has done in your life.

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Anyamele Angela December 3, 2012 at 7:12 am

I quite agree with you that most Christians do not witness because of not knowing what to say, and not knowing how to start it. But one thing I would say is this, we need to go back to Jesus who asked us to witness, he is able to help us out if we are serious in this business of witnessing.

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Charles December 3, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Have you ever heard this reasoning? Folks in the community know where the church is located, the doors are open and they are welcom to come if they want too.

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Pamela Rose Williams December 3, 2012 at 6:33 pm

Hi Charles, What you say is true, however that does not excuse you from personally inviting them to church and sharing what you know of our Savior. Right?

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Colin Saxton October 10, 2016 at 8:51 am

There is a church of Laodicea which is completely lukewarm for the Lord. No body has to be part of this church…but it exists (Revelation chapter 3). The problem with Laodicea is that it does not know that it is Laodicea. The remedy is eye salve! That is the word of God needs to be read and then applied in their life…if you are not reading the word of God then how do you know what is truth from error. We have the word of God and every born again believer will be reading and teaching only from the word of God and not the traditions of men! If you don’t apply the word of God in your life then you are going to be open to all kinds of error. The proverb says (12:17) He the speaks truth shows forth righteousness but a false witness deceipt…if it contradicts the word of God then I don’t care how holy they appear to look…its deception! Don’t go on appearance or university degrees and learning diplomas…the Pharisees were suppose to be the experts in Jesus day but Jesus called them said they were full of dead mens bones. Get to know your word so you can weigh up what is being taught…Deception can only occur when you do not know truth from error…if you reject the word of God…well your what I would call the walking dead…already condemned…just a matter of time.

Regarding evangelism…

Matthew 10:27-28 : Pray for boldness and step out in faith. If you have no commitments when you come to Christ then I suggest selling everything you have and give it to the poor and then go out from town to town and preach the gospel and rely on the Lord to provide (that is the advice of Jesus Christ our Lord so you can disagree if you want to)…if you have commitments (family that rely on you to provide) then step out and share the gospel as much as you possibly can, whenever a change arises! The word of God says that those who do not provide for their own are worse than an unbeliever.

Also know that God will move you into a position for full time evangelism. Prayer…prayer…prayer. The time is coming when all true believers will have no other option but to trust in the Lord because they will not be allowed to buy or sell (Revelation 13).

Keep asking God to put you in positions to witness for Him come what may. God will bless those who Honor the Son.

Blessings in Christ.

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