Everything that has to do with communication runs into some hurdles. Bringing a message of hope can even have hurdles it must face. When trying to nudge someone into Jesus’ arms there are five obstacles to evangelism you should be aware of.
One: What options will I give up?
People are smart they know in reality nothing is free. And following Christ does have some requisites and we all know it. The gift of faith via prevenient grace is one. The willingness to repent is another. And the beginning of the experience of total surrender is another. Turning salvation into a quick prayer just isn’t honest.
You need to be honest and make part of your message a clear indicator of what options you give up when you receive Christ. And what new options you gain.
If you can get your friends beyond this consideration you have gone along way toward doing some real nudging.
Two: Am I making a mistake?
Believe it or not one of the chief fears of people is that they may be making a mistake. People have an aversion to being wrong. People have to be convinced that they are making a credible step or they will resist your message.
Do you know enough to thwart this great fear the enemy uses? Let’s face it a personal experience of your own can be very authoritative and genuine. Be ready to help a friend know that they are not making a mistake. Show that the greater mistake is to not receive the message.
Three: Peer Pressure
The next question you need to work through is, what will this cost me relationally?
This is a big one. In our community we have a strong Mormon presence. And we have many converts from Mormonism in our church. Their step toward the Gospel was a costly one for most.
People do decide to change or not change partly based on how will their friends think about there choice. It helps to address this hurdle when nudging. How you go about that will depend upon the person and their circumstances. I like to reference this issue when I am speaking publicly about the need for Christ in my friend’s lives.
Four: Am I going to look foolish?
I think this fear is a predominate one in people’s lives. No one wants to look like a nut case. It is essential that we uphold the wisdom of a decision for Christ. I like to recount great leaders who have been Christians when I present the Gospel to a friend.
I like supporting deal with the foolishness of not deciding for Christ when I have someone’s ear. Churches should have an environment that makes sense for this reason. People are already afraid of looking foolish and if we confirm it to them we lose.
Five: Is it going to cost me too much?
Everyone has a threshold as to what life currency he or she is willing to spend. I like to make people aware of that fact that God was not cost adverse when He gave His only Son for us.
We shouldn’t try and make it too easy for people or we will have faulty conversions. A quick easy careful prayer just isn’t receiving Christ. I must pause and surrender fully to Him and His vision for me not my own. It cost everything to be a true follower of Christ and we should address this.
challenges, evangelism, strategy
About Doug Murren
Doug Murren is director of Square One Ministries, a ministry devoted to helping churches gain greater skill in evangelizing our post 9/11 world. Doug is known as an innovator and inventor of concepts for contemporary church life for over twenty years.