For some reason, when it comes to sharing our faith, evangelism, we have a tendency to believe that when we start the conversation salvation is in the balance and we are responsible for the outcome. In doing so we assume a God-sized burden that comes with a load of slightly irrational fears that lead us to simply quit before we ever begin. We start thinking about all the stuff that might happen and get paralyzed by ‘what-ifs’ that aren’t our responsibility.
Our job is to share the gospel. That much is clear from verses like Mark 16:15, “…Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” Where we make our big mistake is assuming responsibility for what comes next. That is God’s burden, not ours. In John 6:44, Jesus says, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.” Who draws people to God? Who makes the difference? (Hint: It isn’t you.) Your job is to share. Period. When you’ve accomplished that, you’ve been obedient to God and you can rest easy with a nice clean conscience and a big sigh of relief.
“But what if I say the wrong thing and they…”
They what? Stop talking? Walk away? Tell you they’re tired of listening to you talk about Jesus? Ask you a question you can’t answer? Close the door in your face? Act offended? News flash: It doesn’t matter. That is, it doesn’t matter to you. What they do when you share is God’s problem, not yours. Your job is to pray for them and to share with them. Lovingly, yes. Sensitively, yes. Intelligently, yes. To the best of your ability, you are to tell them about Jesus. But when you start worrying about how they might respond, you’re trying to pick up God’s burden. He’s the one who has to call them out. Jesus saves, not you. You’re just the messenger. And you have the best message ever. Take it for what it is and deliver it with passion. What they do with the gospel after you deliver it is between them and God.