There I was sitting nervously with my knee shaking up and down, with my heart beating a thousand beats a minute, and with my sweaty palms bleeding water.
My mind was thinking about all the different outcomes that could result from what I was about to do.
I had walked into Denny’s planning on having a peaceful dinner so that I can go back to my church to serve in the Welcome Center.
At least that was the plan until I saw Ed sitting at a table not far from where I was eating my peaceful dinner.
Ed was the mail carrier that delivered mail to our church (where I also work). He was well-known on our staff for being an extremely helpful and nice guy.
However, he didn’t believe in God and nor did he seem to care very much about the subject.
It was a few weeks before Easter and our church always hands out fliers to an outreach event that we have every year on Easter Sunday at the Home Depot Tennis Stadium in Dominguez Hills, CA.
It’s a great event where we have a Christian band play music, followed by an anointed message from our Pastor who preaches about sin and invites people to come to Christ.
It’s a major evangelistic event and there’s a heavy emphasis on people getting saved.
The Problem: I Was Afraid
So half-way through my meal, I realized that Ed was sitting just a couple of tables away from me and all of a sudden, I had a heavy burden to give him one of the Easter fliers that I had with me.
If Ed came to Christ, then I would be privileged to have given him his ticket to heaven.
I was motivated but I was afraid.
As I was thinking about how to best approach Ed, I thought of all the possibilities of how things could go.
He could think I was a weirdo.
What if he tore up the flier right in front of me? I would feel pretty stupid.
I don’t even know what to say, what if I said something stupid that made him think that all Christian’s were dumber than a brick?
I don’t want to be the guy that keeps Ed away from coming to Christ, do I?
My thoughts were all negative, there wasn’t a single positive one. The more I dwelled about it, the more that I began to feel anxious and even a little nauseous.
Man, I was such a chicken and I began to feel the condemnation of the enemy as I felt like the worst Christian in the universe.
I Had a Great Idea, or So I Thought
I reached the conclusion that it was better to not face Ed and to find another way to give him the flier.
So if I wasn’t going to give Ed the flier, the least that I could do was to put it in the door of his car.
That way, he could see the flier and who knows, maybe the Holy Spirit would use it even though I was a Christian chicken paralyzed with fear.
So I paid for my dinner, took the flier that I had and I went over to his car. Ed was sitting near a glass window and he was able to see his car through the window at Denny’s.
I went over to his car and tried to put the flier near the door handle of his car but it just wasn’t sticking.
I tried to put it near the rubber that held the windshield together but I wasn’t able to fit it in there either.
I kept on fiddling around with the flier, trying to get it to fit somewhere noticeable on his car when all of a sudden I heard a voice yell, “Hey!!! What are you doing with my car?!!!”
Oh man, it was Ed and from the sound of it, he thought I was breaking into his car!
I don’t know why I did this, but my first instinct was to run! Yep, I ran and I got out of there. Thank God he didn’t run after me.
I Had to Make This Right
When I realized that he wasn’t running after me, I sat down on the sidewalk, out of breath, shaking my head at the terrible outcome of my evangelistic efforts.
How is it that I went from being a fearful Christian evangelist, to being chief suspect of a car theft that didn’t happen?
“Aww man, I am so stupid,” I said to myself.
Now I felt guilty and I was going to have to confess my sin to him.
I didn’t want him to think that I was trying to break into his car, especially because I was pretty sure that he recognized me and that he knew where I worked.
Talk about being a bad ambassador for Christ.
So I went back into Denny’s and I walked straight to Ed’s table.
Oh by the way, when Ed yelled outside in the parking lot when he thought I was breaking into his car, all the customers and the waiters and waitresses apparently looked outside the glass windows to see what was going on.
They recognized me as I walked back into Denny’s so all of their eyes were on me now.
I walked up to Ed and I saw him squint his eyes at me as I was approaching his table.
“Ed, I’m so sorry about what just happened. You thought I was breaking into your car but all I was trying to do was to put this flier on your car. Uhm…it’s an invitation to an Easter event that our church is putting on,” I said sheepishly as I handed him the flier.
“Oh,” Ed said, “I thought you were trying to break into my car. It just got broken into twice in the last month.”
“No man, I wasn’t. I’m soooo sorry about all of this. Please forgive me.”
He was having dinner with a blonde woman who had turned her expression from anger to relief after she had just heard my confession.
“Ok, no problem.”
I walked out of Denny’s wishing that I could just disappear.
All of this happened about 4 years ago.
Have You Ever Felt That Way?
Have you ever felt afraid to share your faith?
Have you every wanted to tell someone about Jesus but just when you thought about how you would do it, you were overwhelmed with the fear of being rejected?
The fear of rejection is the number one reason that Christians say is why they don’t share their faith.
We’re all afraid to share our faith because we like to be liked. Most of us like it when people give us a pat on the back and we do care about what others think of us.
I too am still like that but I’ve also changed a lot. Now, I share my faith regularly both online and in the streets with complete strangers.
Can you believe it?
I went from being a Christian chicken to being a disciple who is following the command of the Lord to go and create disciples.
Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t turned into to some super evangelist that’s fearless by any means. No, not at all.
But I have taken steps of faith to overcome my fear of evangelism and they have been the biggest blessing from the Lord!
7 Truths to Help You Overcome Your Fear of Rejection
As we start a new series about how to share your faith, here are 7 truths that will help you get started.
If you want to make sure that you don’t miss any of the evangelism blog posts, you can enter your email address and you’ll get a weekly blog post about how to share your faith and overcome your fears.
So here are the 7 truths:
1. No one will show up in heaven thinking they shared Jesus too much. Tweet
When you show up in heaven you’re never going to say, “Oh man, I told too many people about Jesus, I should have spent my time doing other things.”
In fact, just the opposite is true. Many will show up in heaven thinking they shared Jesus too little.
2. We are partners with Christ.
Mark 16:20 says, “And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.”
The Lord Himself is a partner with you and with all of His disciples. Could you have anyone better to partner with when it comes to sharing your faith?
3. God isn’t going to speak to you in a small still voice every time He wants you to share your faith because He has commanded it in the scriptures.
God has certain expectations of you as His disciple.
For example, God isn’t going to speak to you in a small still voice every time He wants you to love your neighbor. He’s already commanded you to do that in Scriptures.
Likewise, if you are waiting for the small still voice of the Holy Spirit to speak to you every time God wants you to share your faith then you are missing the point.
4. Every soul is of infinite value to God.
Once we understand that, it will keep us on the edge of our seat and on the tips of our toes to share the Gospel with every lost soul that we meet.
How valuable is a soul to God? He’s willing to pay His Son’s life for it. Tweet
5. The more you step out in faith and trust Him, the more amazing things you will see God do.
If you want to have the same experiences like in the book of Acts, then you’ll need to act like they did. Tweet
They shared their faith boldly with everyone they met. We should do the same if we want to follow in their footsteps.
6. It doesn’t matter if people don’t like us, it matters that we are living a life that’s pleasing to the Lord.
Sometimes we get so worried that if we stand up for Jesus, people are not going to like us.
Jesus was perfect, loved everyone perfectly, and still got nailed to a cross ! (source: Mark Cahill’s book)
Remember, the fear of man brings a snare (or trap) but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe (Proverbs 29:25).
7. If you let your fear overcome your faith, it will lead to a life of regret.
You know what it’s like to have wished you had done something that you didn’t do. Evangelism and sharing your faith is one of those things that you’ll regret later when you don’t see your beloved family and friends in heaven.
Do Something About It
There’s a journey that God wants you to take. It’s a journey of faith of sharing your faith with others.
You’re not alone, God is with you. And your brothers and sisters here at the Not Ashamed of the Gospel community are with you.
Let’s go on this journey together. Sign up to get the weekly evangelism post delivered to your email inbox.
You’ll get practical tips that show you how to overcome your fear, live a life without regret, and give you detailed instructions on how to share Jesus with the lost.
One of your best articles ever Peter! I loved this–and needed to hear it.
You really think so Kurt?
I wasn’t so sure about myself because I was hoping I would get more comments but I think I may have made it just too long. I probably should have broken up the 7 truths and the story about myself into two separate blog posts. Either way, I guess you live and you learn 🙂
Thanks for the encouragement, I really needed it on this one.
I was totally into it.
Great blog! Just what I needed to read today. Looking forward to my weekly email! Thanks for sharing so honestly 🙂
Thank you so much for your kind words, there should be a new blog post today and it’s going to take you by surprise 🙂
Thanks for signing up for the weekly blog post. If for any reason you don’t get it, please forgive me, I was having some trouble this week with my newsletter but I just fixed it five minutes ago which may be before you signed up.
Either way, you can sign up one more time by clicking on the link http://notashamedofthegospel.com/stay-connected/
Thank you for your honesty Peter.
I have mustered up the courage and am handing out Gospel tracts to some cashiers when I eat somewhere or run into stores. Still want to engage in conversation with them more. I was a super people pleaser pre- conversion, the Lord has been patient with me as I trust Him more and open my mouth.
I can’t recommend this book enough, if you want to take your evangelism efforts to the next level, this book is a must-read http://www.amazon.com/One-Thing-You-Cant-Heaven/dp/0964366584
Will purchase and read! Thanks brother.
You’re very welcome, I’d love to hear your thoughts about it. You can hit me up on Twitter, I’m @petenaotg
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GOOD. STUFF. thank you for this!
You’re welcome Tish, thank you for the encouragement 🙂 God bless you!
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Hey Peter! Thanks a lot for writing this article. I have the same exact fear of rejection, and that desire to want to be liked by my friends is what stops me from sharing the Gospel or a simple instagram post about the Lord Jesus. Everytime I feel the ‘nudge’ to do it I always think of excuses like oh she’s is from another religion, oh she’s an atheist they think Im being rude. How did you overcome your fear? Was it by forcing yourself to be brave? Thank you!
This has helped.
I felt so afraid of sharing the gospel with a friend, already having a bad experience with another.
Thank you so much.
I’ve realized now that I have already been called to share, so I shouldn’t be afraid. Thank you, again.
I’m so glad to hear, Nathaniel, that this blog post helped you. May God bless you, and give you the boldness to share the gospel without fear.
I really needed this! Thank you! I was just thinking about how if I get to heaven I will probably be extremely disappointed in myself for not sharing Jesus with more people. And then your article so clearly addressed that idea too! I don’t even care about what people think of me that much so I become confused as to why there is so much fear when the thought to evangelize enters my mind. It must be demonic. But very inspiring article!
I’m glad, Alicia, that you found this blog post to be so inspiring. How did you find it, if I may ask?
Thanks for this blog. I’m gonna sign up for the newsletter. I’m stepping out and doing street evangelism soon on my own. I’m doing it in hopes of saving souls and having Gods presence in my life more. It is also my attempt to substitute my addictions with something positive like evangelism. I hope to get high on Christ now and leave the life of drugs behind. Please pray for me. My name is Peter too, I would like to think me running into this blog is a sign from God because we share the same name lol. God bless!
Way to go, Peter, stepping out in faith and sharing the gospel! It’s always wonderful when I see brothers and sisters like yourself stepping out of their comfort zone and right into God’s comfort zone. May God give you many wonderful divine appointments!
Thank you so much for this article! It’s just what I need to hear. I’m an introvert who is just overall really terrible at sharing my faith, but those 7 points at the end are so helpful and true! Thank you so much 🙂
Thanks for sharing your story. It has been edifying to read. I have such a desire to share the gospel but fear has stricken many times and has stopped me. With the help of God I know I’ll be sharing Jesus to all who I may meet.
I’m glad you enjoyed my blog post. Just remember, that your journey of sharing the gospel has both ups and downs. So if you ever fail, just wipe off the dust, and start again. Don’t let the enemy beat you up.
Wish you all the best 😊.
Thanks for this article. The fear of rejection has such a strong hold on me. I feel condemnation all the time because of it. When I want to share the Gospel, I don’t because the battle is too much on my head. I am tormented by it all the time.
Danel, it’s okay if you have failed in the past. I have failed hundreds of times to share the gospel. Every time I have failed I also felt condemnation from the enemy.
The most important thing is to not give up. If you fail again tomorrow, then try again the day after tomorrow. Keep on trying until you finally succeed. Even if you fail 1,000 times, success will come on the 1,001 attempt.
I wanted to update since I kept praying and asking the Lord for help to share the gospel with my neighbors. God began putting this “fire” (idk how else to explain it) in my heart to go share the gospel with my next door neighbors… I battled with fear for about two or three weeks but kept praying and asking God for help. He was at work in me all the time and about three weeks later I told myself that it was time that if my neighbors passed away and I didn’t share the gospel how would I feel. I told myself no matter what happens God is right with you. And to God’s glory I went and my neighbor was welcoming and very respectful. I will keep praying for strength for the church to spread this amazing glorious gospel.
Dealing with this. Can only hope in Jesus Christ.
This is great! Thanks for sharing your story, Peter. One of the things I struggle with the most is being judgemental. Before I grew in my faith I thought people that went up to others asking them if they know Jesus were weird, pushy, and made the other person feel uncomfortable. Now I see it as loving others and sharing the gift of salvation, and it’s a beautiful thing. The fear that others will judge me like I used to consumes me at times and builds up a wall of fear separating me from working for God’s kingdom. But you are completely right- in heaven I will never regret talking too much about Jesus and what he did for me. Your words are good encouragement. Thank you!
You’re welcome Leslie, thank you for your encouraging words. Just make sure that you never give up on sharing the gospel. It doesn’t matter what anybody thinks of you, all that matters is what God thinks of you.
And if you find yourself scared and you end up chickening out just like hundreds of times that I did, then don’t see that as a failure. See it instead as feedback that you need to pray harder and ask God for more boldness. That will help you to turn failure into your friend.
I can’t tell you how many times I failed to share the gospel when God prompted my heart or when I saw a need. I felt beat up about it afterwards. But God has been so gracious to me and now I’m much more bold than I used to be but I still have a long way to go.
Great article. Glad you included the nittygritty details of your fear of handing out that flier to the mailman. Real life. Real reaction. Makes the reader feel like his own fear of evangelizing is a common experience among Christians, and that he is not alone.
You’re welcome Mike, I’m glad you found this article helpful. God bless you.
I often find myself being able to preach online rather than in person.
Yes, sometimes preaching online is easier, especially if you’re introverted.
It’s 2020 and I’m glad I read this article. Soooo relatable! I really needed this. I guess I’m not the only one who has this struggle.