Many Christians struggle with the practice of “sharing” their faith with others. In spite of the fact that reaching others is a central theme and responsibility Jesus gave to every one of his followers, many Christians have a fear of evangelism.
There may be a number of reasons for this, such as how some people have erroneously bought into the cultural norm that faith is a private matter, not something acceptable for the public arena (Western society has been very successful at holding the Christian faith captive to social constraints).
We lack confidence because we are not properly prepared
Another reason people hesitate to share their faith is that they lack the confidence to do so. As a professionally trained and competent builder, I will tackle most any construction challenge, but ask me to fix my car and I will flee from the task like a cat about to be tossed into a cold lake. I avoid the car repair because I lack confidence—because I lack the skills!—Since I have never obtained the necessary knowledge and education in that field. In a similar way, Christians may understand the fundamentals of their faith, but many lack confidence to share it because they don’t really know how to defend it against many of the philosophies prevalent today. Sadly, many Christians have a bunker mentality, withdrawing into the safety of others who all have the same beliefs, instead of learning the thinking and ways of the world so that they are properly “prepared to give an answer” that can really show flaws in others thinking.
Understanding and Recognizing Materialism
Nowadays we frequently encounter materialism, the belief that everything we see and all that exists is just the result of physical matter and “natural” processes. As a friend of mine says, “materialism is the belief that everything is matter, motion, and chemistry.” However, when a Christian takes the time to understand materialism, they can then point out its logical inconsistencies, its fallacies, and the inevitable conclusion that if it is true that all life is ultimately meaningless. It is a very uncomfortable reality, which the materialist should consider.
Understanding and Recognizing Relativism
Another very common way of thinking is called relativism. This is the belief that a person “creates” his or her own reality, that there is no absolute “truth”— hence, “it’s all relative.” This shows up when people are uncomfortable with labeling any type of behavior or belief system as erroneous. By taking the time to really learn about relativism, Christians can provide the adequate counter-reasoning based on solid evidence that people can relate to, with the goal being to cause a person to question their outlook on life and then possibly even getting them to consider Christ as the one who has all the answers to life.
Preparing ourselves to give an answer
Materialism and relativism are only two of the many various worldviews people hold nowadays. When we lack the knowledge of them, we also will lack the knowledge necessary to answer people’s questions. Oftentimes that also means we will lack the confidence to share our faith. We gain confidence when we understand that Christianity, our belief in the Creator and His Plan, is actually the most consistent way to understand life, having the soundest answers to life and all its problems. We Christians have the most defensible worldview, but we have to gain the confidence necessary to engage others, which we can do by learning how to defend our faith.
We gain confidence to engage others in faith conversations when we are truly prepare ourselves to give an answer to every man.