Their are 3 brands of "duct tape" that keep Christians quiet about Jesus. These types of tape seek to seal our mouths shut about the good news of Jesus. Some brands are big and bold. Others are small and sticky. But they all result in the same thing...silence.
As the President of Dare 2 Share Ministries I've been traveling the nation equipping teenagers to share the gospel for over twenty years. I've also had the privilege of equipping hundreds of thousands of adults to share their faith along the way. And, as I've energized others to share the good news, I've heard many reasons why Christians don't share the gospel. The vast majority could be categorized into one of three very different brands of invisible duct tape:
The "Um, I'm not sure" Duct Tape
If you put a microphone in the face of the average Christian leaving church and asked, "What is the gospel?" you'd probably get a variety of answers that range from "um" to dumb. The bottom line is that, for the most part, church leaders are not doing enough gospel training. We may be committing "the sin of assumption" by assuming that the teens in our youth groups and adults in our churches already know the gospel because, well, they are Christians.
But just because you own a guitar doesn't mean you can play it. First, you must learn the chords. Then you must practice. In the same way, just because we have put our faith in Jesus, doesn't mean we automatically know how to share the gospel. We must master the chords and learn to play the beautiful music of the gospel ourselves.
If you need a simple but effective gospel training curriculum for your teens or adults click here.
The Duct Tape of Fear
The gospel is a controversial message that can lead to rejection and ridicule. It points to the narrow path of Jesus who claimed to be the exclusive way to God (John 14:6.) If you share this message of Jesus you could be mocked, marginalized or ostracized. The same was true in Jesus' day. The Apostle John tells us, "Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved human praise more than praise from God" John 12:42,43.
Before we wag our finger at them let's point it at ourselves first. This is the same reason many Christians today don't "openly acknowledge their faith..." While we're not worried about being put out of the synagogue we do worry about not being included on the invite list (to whatever) because of our unashamed witness for Jesus.
But overcoming this fear is a small price to pay compared to what Jesus went through when he was mocked, mutilated and murdered in our place on the cross. If he wasn't ashamed to die for us then we shouldn't be ashamed to live (and speak) for him.
The Duct Tape of Apathy
Apathy is a big reason that many Christians don't evangelize. We have other priorities doing other things and evangelism gets left in the dust. It's hard to believe but some Christians just don't care enough about the lost to evangelize.
William Booth, Founder of The Salvation Army, once said that, if he could, he would make all of his leaders spend 24 hours hovering above the flames of hell to see what was at stake for those who died without Jesus. Mr. Booth knew that the key to producing officers who were concerned about "Soup, Soap and Salvation" was breaking their hearts with the urgency of the hell that others were headed to and going through apart from Jesus Christ. He wanted The Salvation Army officers to take care of the lost person's physical needs (soup and soap) as well as their spiritual needs (salvation.) He knew that, for this to happen, their hearts would have to be broken for the lost. Apathy had to be replaced with urgency when it came to evangelism.
Whatever reasons you don't share your faith it's time to tear off the duct tape. How? Pray, count to three and rip it off. Sure, it will be a little painful, but it will make a world of difference to those around you.
If you need help just let us know. Dare 2 Share is in the duct-tape tearing-off business!
And, if you read this article and thought I left a brand of duct tape out, let me know in the comment section below. What are some more reasons that Christians don't share their faith that I failed to mention?