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  • Writer's pictureKrista Bontrager

Overcoming Barriers to Evangelism

We often talk about the fact we think there is a place in the Christian life to engage in public advocacy. But something that's even more important than public advocacy is for every Christian to understand that the pathway to solving America’s real problems lies in evangelism. Changing policies or electing better politicians won’t be enough for lasting change. We must preach the Gospel with increased vigor in order that the Holy Spirit will change people’s hearts. But many of us have never even shared the Gospel. We worry that it will damage the relationship. We talked about this tough issue with our special guest co-host, Laura Powell.



 

Discussion with Laura Powell


Monique had a last-minute travel adventure come up, so filling in tonight was our friend and colleague, Laura Powell. Laura is a seasoned Apologist with Women in Apologetics (WIA) and specializes in Islam.


Here are some highlights from the conversation:


Seems to be two errors that Christians can fall into:

#1--ONLY focusing on evangelism and sharing the Gospel, while completely neglecting the public square

#2--Setting policies and systems is the ONLY thing we can/should focus on [because] sin can be completely overcome if we have the right policies & systems in place


No! It should not be an either/or situation!!

Policies can only go so far; people need changed hearts!

Instead, it is more a matter of priorities...people need the Truth of the Gospel first and foremost AND we should be concerned about how people live, justice issues, policies, etc.


What does the Bible say about sharing the Gospel?

Our final marching orders before Jesus' ascension:

Matthew 28:18-20:

"Then Jesus came to them and said, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.'"


1 Peter 3:15:

"But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect."


2 Corinthians 5:20:

"We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God."


BUT some people will object and say, "I don't have the gift of evangelism!" Or "I don't *feel called* to share the Gospel." How do we approach this?


We are foolish to live by our feelings!

Jesus commanded us to make disciples, regardless of how we *feel* about it! When someone has a specific spiritual gift, they may spend more time/resources on their gifting or see more success, BUT it does NOT mean people without that specific gifting don't still have a responsibility. In other words, if you don't have the gift of evangelism, share anyway! If you don't have the gift of service, share anyway!


Strategies for evangelism:

**Always be looking for opportunities to give people something to think about...aka as Greg Koukl puts it, "putting a pebble in their shoe"

**Regularly interact with non-Christians (get a hobby, new barber, etc)

**Filling our minds with Truth and worldview principles; knowing the REASONS behind our faith (Intelligent Design, Moral Law-Giver, etc)

**Conversation starters that could lead to reciprocal conversations, such as "What are your favorite holidays and why?" or "What book are you currently reading?"


**Get ready and stay ready!**


Common pitfalls:

**Let's just love people...Let's not focus too much on content, but let's just love people.

--No! This is not the Gospel! This is not taking Matthew 28 seriously!

**Sharing our personal testimony & sharing the Gospel

--These two things often get conflated, but they are two different things!

**Utilize mistakes and feedback from non-Christians as learning opportunities to make changes/refine strategies


Resources mentioned:


Laura holds many roles with Women in Apologetics (WIA). She serves as one of their senior writers, Education Managing Editor, Islam Ministry Specialist, and is on their Board of Directors as Secretary.


In addition, with her expertise in Islam and serving women in Muslim countries, Laura has developed a course on Islam Foundations. Check it out here: https://womeninapologetics.com/islam-foundations-course/


Laura's podcast partner, Wintery Knight's website:


Book recommendation:


Connect with the Guest:


Be sure to check out Laura Powell's website: https://laurazpowell.org/ and blog, An Affair with Reason.

The Knight & Rose Show Podcast can be found on any podcast platform and on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@knightandroseshow/featured


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