Why? Is it awkward to tell someone they have something on their face? Who is it awkward for? Who needs to be embarrassed about it? You wouldn’t not tell someone to save them from embarrassment, because if you don’t tell them they will go on and have dozens of conversations and the embarrassment will only multiply once they find out. And then there’s this little tid-bit, you’re not the one with the amazon growing between your teeth! The whole reason awkwardness exists with an unbeliever, is that they are literally running towards hell and have no idea.
What keeps you from sharing the Gospel? For many the main answer to that question comes down to awkwardness.
Awkwardness is defined as causing or feeling embarrassment or inconvenience.
And while with most things it is probably helpful to have a keen sense of when awkwardness is on the horizon, we must remember what is at stake when we think about the eternal destiny of those around us.
I’d like to encourage you to rethink the common thought that it is better not to share the Gospel than to do it awkwardly. So here are five reasons why it’s ok to share the Gospel awkwardly.
Everyone is awkward at first
The first time I held a baby you should have seen me. I was so uncomfortable. I was so stiff. I was afraid to breathe. I was only concentrating on one thing and couldn’t think about anything else at the same time. It’s a miracle I didn’t drop the baby. I’ve been out sharing the Gospel with many people who came along side me. It’s fascinating to watch others preach the Gospel. Not only is it super encouraging, it’s an opportunity to hear the Gospel preached and to watch an unbelieving heart come into full-contact with the only truth that can save them. I’ve watched many people go out “their first time ever” and let me tell you, they usually feel uncomfortable. They stumble on their words, they mis-speak, and usually they feel like a failure. And let me tell you, I am always so proud of them. Sharing the Gospel is probably the hardest thing in the world.
That’s what tempts people to change it and make it more palatable.
No one should expect it to be natural and without any problems the first few hundred conversations they have. We don’t expect a salesman to have the perfect pitch the first call they make. A speech professor doesn’t expect his student to sound like Winston Churchill on his first speech. A basketball coach doesn’t expect his players to be better than Kobe Bryant five minutes into their first practice, and you shouldn’t expect to sound like a seasoned evangelist right away.
Just like with everything else, you must be patient. You must continue to obey the Lord in this area and eventually with enough practice, the words will come out more naturally. You will be able to keep your train of thought and still answer a tough question, and you will be able to see ways to connect everyday conversations to the Gospel.
Fear of man should not prevent us from sharing the Gospel
Proverbs 29:25 “The fear of man brings a snare, But he who trusts in the LORD will be exalted.”
People are often afraid to share the Gospel. They come up with excuses like: “I don’t know anyone”, “I don’t know what to say”, “I’m not ready”, “I don’t know how to answer the hard questions”. Usually though it comes down to awkwardness. We just don’t know what to say, or how to say it. We’re afraid of doing it wrong and sounding weird.
As the old evangelists used to say, “If you know enough to be saved, you know enough to lead another person to salvation.” It all comes down to fear of man. We simply fear man more than we fear God. If we are convinced that evangelism is a command of God then we must ask ourselves, “Who do we fear more?”