The disciples chatted as they returned from their journey to buy food from the Samarian city. They reached the outskirts of the city where they had left Jesus. He had been sitting along when they departed, but as they approached they saw he was sitting with a woman.

A woman.

A Samaritan woman.

They stared in wonder. Most of them didn’t like having to deal with the Samaritans as they were buying food. They never would have sought out a Samaritan to talk to, and they would have never ever sought out a Samaritan woman.

Jesus and the woman were deep in conversation, so they didn’t say anything even though the questions “What do you seek?” or “Why are you talking with her” were itching to get past their lips.

Soon the woman left, running into the city and encouraged the people to go to the well. “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?”

When the woman left, the disciples urged Jesus to eat. It had been a long, hot day full of walking. Jesus needed to eat.

However, Jesus refused. “I have food to eat that you do not know about.”

This perplexed the disciples. “Has anyone brought him something to eat?” they wondered.

Jesus replied, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’?” He motioned to the nearby city. “Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes and see that the fields are white for harvest.”

Meanwhile, the woman came back to the well with many people from the city. Many of the Samaritans believed in Jesus because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.”

The Samaritans asked Jesus to stay with them and so He stayed there for two days. Many more people believed in Jesus because of His words.

They told the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.”

Based on John 4

Lessons From the Well- evangelism

The other day we discussed the first part of this story: the conversation between the woman and Jesus. Be sure to check that post out.

This story is so rich I had to split it into two parts. So today we’re picking up from when the woman leaves the well.

So part one of this story pertains to salvation and how Jesus didn’t come to condemn but to save. Part two pertains to evangelism and telling others about Jesus.

Evangelism.

According to dictionary.com, evangelism is the preaching of the gospel. And if you’re like me, evangelism is something you know you should do, and yet don’t do on a regular basis.

  • For me, I fear not knowing what to say or that I might stumble over my words and present the gospel in an unclear way.
  • I’m also afraid that whoever I’m talking to will laugh at me or completely ignore everything I say. Or worse- ask hard questions I don’t know the answer to.
  • I used to think I have a “lame testimony.” I didn’t do drugs or steal anything before I was saved, so sometimes I discredit the amazing work that God did in my life when He saved me from my sins.

Maybe you struggle with some of the same things when it comes to sharing the gospel. In case you do, I’m going to debunk each of those fears.

Fear of presenting the gospel in an unclear way:

Prayer is the way to combat this fear.

“Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel.” Ephesians 6:19

“And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.” Colossians 4:3

God will give us the words to say and the opportunities in which to say them. We need to pray for these opportunities and that when they come God would help us speak clearly.

Fear of rejection:

Here’s the deal, if you share the gospel with someone, and they reject it and walk away, they are not rejecting you.

They are rejecting Jesus. {Which is worse.}

In the Old Testament, Samuel struggled with this too. “And the LORD told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king.” 1 Samuel 8:7

Jesus taught His disciples this same truth: “Whoever listens to you listens to me; whoever rejects you rejects me; but whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me.” Luke 10:16

So we can speak without fear of personal rejection, but we should still speak passionately. We should long for them not to reject God but rather to accept Him and to invite Him into their lives.

Fear of “Lame Testimony:”

I don’t struggle with this now, but I used to.

I was seven years old when I accepted Jesus’ sacrifice for me. I didn’t commit any “horrible” sins in the previous six years (“horrible” is in quotes because, let’s face it, all sin is horrible).

And as I was growing up, I struggled with accepting my testimony. I thought that since I didn’t have a MAJOR conversion story, God couldn’t use my story.

This is a lie.
A lie that Satan so desperately wants us to believe.

Jesus didn’t save me when I was seven. He saved me 2000 years ago on the cross. I accepted His sacrifice for me when I was seven, but quite frankly that’s all I had to do with it.

Jesus saved me.

And He saved you too.

And that’s pretty incredible.

So if you’re afraid that you don’t have a “super awesome testimony,” no worries there. Hakunna matatta.

Apparently the people of Corinth struggled with this too, because in his letter Paul told them, “For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong…so that no human being might boast in the presence of God” (1 Cor. 1:26-27,29).

Your testimony is amazing because Jesus saved you- a sinner lost and blind- and gave you eternal life with Him. That is the most awesome thing ever.

“And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption.” -1 Cor 1:30

You do have a personal story about how you learned about salvation and how you accepted Jesus’ sacrifice, and this is very important to your sharing Jesus with someone, but your personal story is not the gospel.

The gospel is the good news of Jesus Christ.

Why are you afraid of telling people about Jesus? This post debunks three common fears about sharing the gospel.

All this leads us back to that woman at the well….

How long did the woman know Jesus before she began to tell others about Him?

Not that long. Probably between 5 and 30 minutes.

She didn’t know all the big “Christianise” words we grow up hearing in Sunday School. She probably didn’t use the words “sanctification” or “substitutionary atonement” when she told her fellow Samaritans about Jesus.

What did she tell them then?

“Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?”

She told them her story. She told them about her encounter with Jesus. And in awe, she marveled that she had really met the Messiah.

This is a HUGE encouragement to us. We don’t have to use “Christianese” to tell others about Jesus. In fact, they probably wouldn’t understand us if we did.

So we don’t have to wait until we have all of Christianity “figured out” to evangelize. The woman had only known Jesus for about five minutes!

As the college pastor at my church likes to say, “If you’ve been a believer for five minutes, you know more than somebody and can go disciple others.”

I’ve been a Christian for twelve years, and honestly this thought makes me squirm. I don’t tell other people about Jesus nearly as much as I should.

So to encourage us all today:

We can share the good news of Jesus with out fear of rejection or messing up. If they reject us they’re really rejecting Jesus Himself, and the Holy Spirit will give us the words to say.

We don’t need a “super awesome testimony” to tell someone about Jesus because He rescued us from our sins, which is AMAZING to begin with.

And we don’t need to worry about not knowing the in’s and out’s of Christianity. We still have a story to tell.

4 thoughts on “3 Fears of Evangelism Debunked

  1. Adriana Renee

    Oh snap! This quote, ” but your personal story is not the gospel.” has to be plastered everywhere. I also have a lame testimony and I always felt like belittled. Like you, I’m also scared to be unclear or stumble on my facts and have someone question me. Love this! Jesus is all we need to share.
    Adriana Renee recently posted…#GoldenTwentyFree + GiveawayMy Profile

    Reply

    1. Kara Beth Post author

      I’m so thankful I’m not alone in this, Adriana :) It can be so easy for us to become “me focused” and to think about the cirmumstances surrounding our conversion when really it’s all about Jesus and what He did 2000 years ago! You are absolutely right, Jesus is all we need to share :)
      Blessings, my friend! Have a very happy Friday! :)

      Reply

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