Does your pesky pastor or church community keep emphasizing God’s mission? Are there regular reminders of the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20) and the purpose of Holy Spirit in evangelism (Acts 1:8)? Never fear! Here are the top ten excuses you can use to get out of sharing your faith!
1. ) “I don’t know enough.” Sure, if you are a follower of Jesus you have heard the gospel message and realize that Jesus has died for your sins and that he was raised from the dead and that in order to have peace with God, you need to trust in Jesus. But since you don’t understand supralapsarianism, have a stated position on eschatology, or know the biblical languages, you can’t possibly be expected to share your faith in Jesus with others! You have to go to seminary for that! Duh!
2.) “I evangelize my children.” Listen, I’m a parent. My priority is my kids and because I have kids I’m unable to have any interaction with other human beings, so I can’t be expected to talk about Jesus to other people! I never see other people! Well, except the people that I talk to at work or in the other social encounters I have like the grocery store or the park or school. But I’m too busy discipling my kids at all of those places to actually be able to talk to other human beings. Plus I don’t know enough to disciple people… except my kids. And you can’t share your faith with both your kids and other people! You can’t disciple your children and other humans! It’s either/or, not both/and. Duh!
3.) “I need to pray about it first.” Yeah, yeah, yeah. Mission of God, Great Commission, and the Holy Spirit was poured out to help me share my faith. But I really need to pray about whether I can share my faith with people. Unless I get a clear prophetic word on the matter, I can’t really jump into telling people about how God has transformed me. That’s far too presumptuous on my part! What if God doesn’t want me to share my faith? What if he doesn’t want to use me to tell that person about Jesus because he would rather that person not know the gospel. Come on! Don’t be so arrogant as to assume that the Great Commission is for everyone. Duh!
4.) “I’m too busy.” You just don’t understand. I’m too busy to be intentional about sharing Jesus. When I am at work, I’m there to work. When my co-workers tell me about their problems, I can’t offer to pray for them because I’m busy. You just don’t understand. You aren’t as busy as me. And you don’t realize that if I took the time to develop relationships with people who don’t know Jesus that would cut into my hobbies, like television. Duh!
5.) “I only share my faith in other countries.” I always share my faith when I go on mission trips to other countries. That’s when it’s important. Here in my own city, it’s different. This isn’t a mission field, it’s an American city. Most people are already Christians because we live in a Christian country.
It’s way easier I really feel like God blesses my evangelistic work in Mexico. Plus, here in the United States, I’m busy. Duh!
6.) “My faith is a personal matter.” For me, my faith in Jesus and commitment to his kingdom are really personal. In fact, it’s so personal that I don’t want anyone to know about it. So I basically live my life like everyone else and no matter what happens around me or what people say, I don’t feel led to reveal my secret. All of those people will eventually find out about my faith (after we die, of course), but for now it’s private. Duh!
7.) “St. Francis said we should preach Christ always, but only use words when necessary. For me, it’s not necessary.” Yeah, I realize that this popular quote has been debunked and that St. Francis of Assisi never actually said this and that he was a preacher and emphasized preaching, but I like the quote anyway. It has a nice ring to it. Plus, my life is so secretly transformative that everyone can tell my faith is really private. Duh!
8.) “I pay my pastor to do my evangelism for me.” Because my life is so busy and I don’t ever talk to people, I’ve just decided that my tithes and offerings are there to support the pastors to do the evangelism and discipleship. They are professionals anyway and know way more about theology than I do. And everyone knows that the pressing concern for people is the answer to the southern or northern Galatian theory, along with details about the documentary hypothesis. Duh!
9.) “Evangelism only matters for the really bad sinners. Everyone I know isn’t so bad and God will understand and he loves everyone so it’s not that urgent of a matter. Oh… and hell probably isn’t real and judgement doesn’t happen for my friends and family.” You have to understand that my friends and family are different than the rest of humanity. I know the Bible teaches that all human beings are “fallen” and “sinners” and in need of a savior but the people I know are the exception. So I don’t get all worked up about or concerned with whether or not they have experienced redemption or been reconciled to God. If it really matters, God can use someone to reach them… just not me. Duh!
10.) “I share my faith exclusively on Facebook and Twitter.” Have you seen the stories I share on social media? They are amazing evangelistic messages! I mean, you have to sort through the pictures of kittens, questionable images, pictures of me getting drunk with my friends, and passive aggressive updates, but when you see the clear and explicit gospel messages that I share, you’ll understand that I don’t need to talk face to face with people about Jesus! How silly! I got evangelism and discipleship covered. People just need to read my posts… with a bit of discernment… and realize we’re all sinners and nobodies perfect… and pick out the good ones. You’ll probably notice that my evangelism updates correspond to when I
attend church watch videos of my pastor (who just happens to live in a different state than me but I just really feel led to attend watch his services). My faith isn’t private! It’s totally and completely public… from time to time! Duh!
What would you add?
Luke is a pastor-theologian living in northern California, serving as a co-lead pastor with his life, Dawn, at the Red Bluff Vineyard. Father of five amazing kids, when Luke isn’t hanging with his family, reading or writing theology, he moonlights as a fly fishing guide for Confluence Outfitters. He blogs regularly at LukeGeraty.com and regularly contributes to his YouTube channel.