So how do we deal with our fear of failure in witnessing?
1. Understand Our Role in Witnessing.
We’re afraid to fail because we think a person’s response to the Gospel depends on us, our eloquence, our strategy, or our powers of persuasion. We need to get over ourselves and give the Holy Spirit the credit He deserves for opening people’s eyes to the truth. Rely on Him for guidance, for words, for boldness, and for compassion. Do your part in opening your mouth, but trust Him for the results.
“So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase” (I Corinthians 3:7, NKJV).
2. Remember Our Conversion.
I have said for years that, if you’ve been saved, you know how people are saved, and you know how to tell others. People think they can’t witness because they haven’t been through Evangelism Explosion or memorized the Way of the Master. Those are great tools, but not having them should not prevent us from witnessing. Did you feel conviction for your sins? Did you know that your sin would send you to Hell and that you could never earn God’s forgiveness? Did you realize that Jesus died to pay the penalty you owed? Did you trust Him alone to save you? If so, tell someone.In Galatians chapter 1, Paul reminisces about his conversion experience to the Galatian believers when discussing the Gospel with them. It is beneficial to us to remember our conversion and how God called each of us “by His grace” (Galatians 1:15).
3. Prepare for It.
Trusting the Holy Spirit doesn’t give us an excuse to be lazy. The Bible tells us, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (II Timothy 2:15, NKJV). If you want to know what you’re talking about, to present the Gospel accurately, and to be able to answer questions if necessary, study God’s Word. Prepare yourself with God’s Word, then trust the Holy Spirit to properly use the information you’ve stored away.
4. Pray about It.
It almost seems to obvious to mention prayer…except for the fact that we rarely do it. It’s hard to rely on God if we’re not walking closely with Him, if we’re not giving our burdens and our control to Him, and we’re not following His leadership. Our need for prayer if we are going to do God’s work cannot be better illustrated than by Jesus Himself, Who took time daily to pray and seek guidance and strength from the Father. We too can pray to God and trust that He’ll guide our evangelistic efforts and give us the words, strength, and courage needed.
“[…C]asting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (I Peter 5:7, NKJV).
5. Do It.
If we just set aside our fears long enough to open our mouths, the hardest part is done. The more we work, the less time we have to worry.
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear” (I Peter 3:15, NKJV).