1 Corinthians 9:11
April 19, 2003
Re: I donít feel Like Doing Evangelism Any More
"When I first became a Christian several years ago I was able to witness to anyone. I could walk up to a perfect stranger and start witnessing. Now, I am finding it hard to tell others about Jesus. I want to be able to share my faith with others but I can't. I'm not ashamed of Jesus or even afraid to tell. I need to know what it is that is hindering me in this area. Can you help?"
Sally, when I first came to Christ, about 34 years ago (Yikes!, lol) I was studying to be a Priest. Because I was studying to be a Priest I thought maybe I should read the Bible, so I did. Big mistake! As I read it I came to realize I was lost and could not save myself. If you are interested, I share my testimony in a sound-byte on my website in RealOne format:
Here I share how I got saved, how Jesus first led me into evangelism and how He led me to develop my evangelism training program. Getting back to my testimony, as I read the Bible I discovered I could not save myself no matter how many Rosaries I said, no matter how many Masses I went to, no matter how good I was. I fill in the blanks in my sound testimony on my website, but months later I stumbled onto Jesus coming home from school one day. I prayed,
"Jesus, my life is far short of what I want it to be and I am sure it is far short of what You want it to be, but this is Dale. If you want to change me, here is my life, it is Yours to do with whatever you please."
Well three days later I got up and realized a problem I had had that was not too consistent with the priesthood was gone and I knew I had nothing to do with it: it was a four letter word vocabulary. The Old computer upstairs was well programmed and no amount of will power on my part could change it. However, after that day when I gave my heart and life to Jesus, the first thing he did was just take away whatever it was that caused me to do this. Suddenly I realized God heard and was answering my prayers, He was changing me! Later I read Romans 10:9-10,
"That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation." (Romans 10:9-10)
I had been raised to know and believe Jesus had died for my sins and had been risen, what was missing is I did not understand I needed to confess him as Lord, Lord meaning He didnít want me to do anything, He just wanted me. Once He had me, whatever needed fixing He would fix with or without my conscious cooperation. I had thought previously that confessing Jesus as Lord meant going to church on Sunday, helping old ladies across the street whether they wanted to go or not. As a result of reading the Bible I came to realize I could not be saved by my works but by only putting my faith in what Jesus did for me on the cross and that alone to save me. I personalized it that day coming home from school by receiving Him into my heart as Savior and Lord.
For the next 8 months Jesus slowly stripped me of my religious self-strife and brought me to a place of rest.
"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My load is light." (Matthew 11:28-30)
I was coming out of Church one Sunday night not long after that, in the Catholic church I attended, and saw a book on the book rack titled "The Perfect Joy of St. Francis of Assisi". Well I hadnít had much joy up to that point in my life so I thought maybe it could teach me something. God called me to the ministry a year before I knew him. Being raised Catholic I assumed He wanted me to become a priest. God called St Francis of Assisi to the ministry before he knew him also. God told St. Francis He wanted him to build His church. St. Francis thought he meant building a church building, so he went around trying to raise money to build a church. While he was doing this he got deathly ill and while he was recovering, he had a born again experience and came to know Jesus personally as Savior and Lord. As a result the Lord showed him He was not calling him to build a church building but to reach out to the lost and bring them to salvation.
As I read this, Jesus spoke into my heart that as a believer in Him He wanted me to share Him with others. Well the thought of talking to a perfect stranger about Jesus completely and totally petrified me. I canít explain why. I was heavily involved in the ecology movement at this time also. I spoke in front of classes at school on the environmental issues, but now the thought of talking to people about God? That scared me to death! I pictured someone standing on a bench screaming hell, fire and damnation. I think that was the part of it I didnít like, lol. Well I wanted to obey the Lord but I couldnít get over my fears, so I went on a fast for two weeks to seek God for boldness to speak out for Him. Was that necessary? I donít know, but I didnít know what else to do.
This was in the middle of the summer. My parents were on a four week vacation in Baha California. My older brother was working as a Ricki Ranger, my younger brother working at a camp in the mountains. I was home alone with my dog Lady, so for two weeks I fasted and begged God for boldness to be a witness for him.
At the end of the two weeks I experienced some kind of spiritual battle in my bedroom. I didnít know anything about spiritual warfare in those days so I got on my knees and prayed the Lordís prayer and I felt this oppression lift off of me. Suddenly I knew something spiritually had broken and that my prayers had been heard.
God did not hit me over the head with a wand and say "Go out and witness Super Christian!" and put a big "S" on my chest, lol, no He didn't do that. I am a Holy Spirit Baptized Christian with evidence of speaking in tongues, but that came later. I was working for a rain making outfit that summer, people who seed clouds to get more rain out of them. When I went to work the next day, Monday, I talked to a man by the name of Frank Pollechek who worked there who had been on vacation. I asked him where he went on his vacation. He proceeded to share with me that he had gone to San Bernardino California, a place just south of L.A. in the San Bernardino Mountains, and went through a week Evangelism Training Program where he learned how to share his faith with others. With that he took out a Four Spiritual Law booklet and proceeded to share it with me. When he got to the Christ-controlled person and self-controlled person I said "I am the Christ-controlled" and proceeded to share with him how eight months earlier coming home from school I had given my life to Christ. He invited me to a Bible study he was having at his house that night.
When I got to His apartment, he was there talking to a man by the name of Walter Kai. He was a Hawaiian from Hawaii going to Fresno State University. They were discussing about his going the next week to this place to get training in evangelism. I said "Can I go?" I knew instantly this was my answer to prayer. They werenít sure since you had to register ahead of time. Well I was so determined to go, I went anyway figuring I could work it out some how when I got there. They let me in and paid for it.
To make a long story short, I learned there how to share my faith in love with others and we went out during that week and talked to people on the beaches of California about Jesus. I discovered my problem wasnít fear, it was ignorance, I simply did not know what preaching the Gospel meant. There I learned what the Gospel was, what discipling a new Christian was, what apologetics was, giving honest answers to honest questions about the validity of our Christian faith.
Well I came back all excited! Now I knew what to do and what to say, and it didn't involve my standing on a bench screaming hell, fire and damnation, lol. This was between my Junior and Senior years of high school. I came back to my High School in the Fall and before the year was over I had shared Christ, how to have a personal relationship with Christ, with every student on campus. They voted me the most radical student of my senior class, if you can believe that, lol. The little devils. This was a Catholic high school. I saw many of them come to Christ, some of those people are serving Christ in ministry today. I have been using my free time to share Jesus with others ever since. No body can shut me up, lol. Today I am a Full Gospel Minister.
During this time and for a few years after, whenever I wanted to go out and share the Gospel, I would call one of the people I had made friends with through this training program I had gone through. Many of these people were college students. As the years went by though, they graduated, got married and moved on. Suddenly they were too sophisticated to take time in their weeks to go out and share Christ with others. I came to the quick realization that if I waited to have someone to go out with me and share Christ with others, I would never go out and share Christ with others. For a while I didnít, but I noticed that my Christian walk with Jesus was becoming stale, no life in it and that I was becoming focused on things that just werenít important, fruitless doctrinal issues, etcetera. One Friday night I couldnít stand it any longer, so I got up and drove my then motorcycle over to the California State University of Fresno and spent the evening talking to students about Jesus. No one got saved that night, but as soon as I got there the power of the Holy Spirit was upon me and Jesus was with me all the way.
"And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, ĎAll authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. GO THEREFORE and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you, and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.í" (Matthew 28:18-20)
Later I realized in this passage of Scripture Jesus said go and then He would be with us, not "wait for Me to come and then I will be with you." We sit around waiting to get inspired to go when Jesus has already given the command to go. As we go He promises to give us the power of the Holy Spirit. Peter wrote in Acts 5:32 "And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him." Jesus said as we go He will be with us, as we obey Him He will give us His Holy Spirit.
Sally, as we get older, we take on responsibilities: get married, a job, etcetera, so we canít just jump up and decide to go out and share Christ at a given moment. While I did Evangelism this way in my early days and walk with Jesus, I have learned in time that God doesn't want me doing Evangelism this way. Yes in the beginning He did, this then was appropriate, but Jesus has a will and a plan for my life which as He has revealed to me over time has required my disciplining myself in my use of time to accomplish that will. One of the things Jesus wants me doing with my time during the week is going out and aggressively sharing Christ with others, but this is just one of those things He wants me to do with my time.
(see article titled "How to Evangelize Successfully on the Job, in the Neighborhood and in the Home")
As I got into college, I had to learn time management.
As I planned my week, I would make sure I planned time also to go out and aggressively share Christ with others. I believe this is how the Lord wants us to do Evangelism. He doesnít want us to do it sporadically or emotionally as a feeling for the moment, except in the case maybe of the issue coming up when talking to a classmate or a friend or talking to someone at work during lunch. He wants us to do it in agreement with him and the Holy Spirit, Planning and setting aside an agreed amount of time during the week for the specific purpose of going out and sharing with people what it means to be a Christian and how to become one. That is how I define Evangelism. That is what Evangelism is, it is educating people about Godís love and forgiveness through Jesus Christ and then challenging them to receive Him as Savior and Lord. When you plan Evangelism this way in agreement in prayer with the Holy Spirit, Jesus' promise is that He will be there in that time waiting for you to anoint and empower you to be effective for Him on the field. Jesus said in John 12:26 "If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there shall my servant also be; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him." When we obey God in our use of time, His promise is that He will be there with us in that time, whether in homework, play, sleep or doing Evangelism. When we plan in our schedule time in our week to do Evangelism and acknowledge the Lord in it, His promise is that He will be with us in that time to empower us and help us share Him, the Gospel with others. Proverbs 3:6 states "In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."
Sally, since the Lord opened my eyes to see He has already given the command to all Christians to go, I have been committed to use my free time to share Christ with others. I go out on Saturdays and Sundays for at lest two hours in the afternoon, and at least one time during the week in the evening with someone as a Christian, not as a Minister. My calling as a Minister is to train Christians in Evangelism, not preach the Gospel. Preaching the Gospel is my responsibility as a Christian as it is of all Christians, a choice of obedience to God I must make; and if I donít do it, how can I preach to others to do it?
One of the three days a week I do Evangelism I do it on the internet and alternate the days on which I do it on the internet. The rest of my free time during the week is spent researching apologetics, things which will help me to help others release their faith in Jesus. That is what my website is all about, Christian resources available to all Christians to use to help them lead others to Christ.
There is nothing wrong with you. You said, "I am finding it hard to tell others about Jesus. I want to be able to share my faith with others but I can't." When we are young in Christ we go through a honeymoon stage where Jesus just lets us go free so to speak. We are excited about our new relationship with Christ and so we just love talking to everyone about Jesus. As time goes on, however, Jesus begins to discipline us in our lives and walk with Him because He has a purpose and a plan for lives. That doesnít mean he doesnít want us to continue to take time in our weeks to go out and share Him with others, now He is simply telling us to make a decision to spend a certain amount of time during the week to go out and share him with others. When you make that decision and acknowledge the Lord in it, He will go before you and prepare the way and the people He wants you to talk to. I have a kind of circuit I go around every month. I donít go to the same places. There are three indoor malls in the town where I live and many parks. I go to a different one every time I go out. That way I donít become too familiar with the people that are their. Some times the Lord will tell me beforehand a specific place he wants me to go. I always do ask Him if besides where I have planned to go to do Evangelism for the day, if he doesnít have a specific place He wants me to go? I am always amazed though how when I do go I will meet people who will say something like "I was praying that the Lord would send someone to me!" I pray ahead of time like I instruct at this link:
Then I go by faith believing Jesus will be there to tell me what to say and do and He always is. See my testimonies of Evangelism on the Field to see how he does:
These testimonies are testimonies of how the Lord was there telling us what to do and say as we went.
Everything I have written about evangelism came to me as a result of going. Yes, I study and do my homework. "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the Word of Truth." (2 Tim 2:15). I am a college educated minister. But as I go and give, God gives me more, I go and give and God gives me more. I have never gotten anything from the Lord you will find on my website though through sitting at home waiting for something to happen, lol. What did Jesus say? He said in Luke 6:38,
"Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, they will pour into your lap. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return."
So what has changed? Okay, you donít have that original excitement the Holy Spirit gave you to get you started, to get you going. Not every time I go out do I feel something. Many times it is just raw obedience. Some times I donít find anyone to talk to, but God still blesses me because I obeyed Him. So what does Jesus want you now to do? He wants you to grow up and obey Him as a decision of the will, not because you feel like doing it. Love is not a feeling, it is a decision of the will. He wants you to plan in your week time to go out and share him with others and then go out in that planned time and believe and trust Him that He will be with you whether you feel him or not. Some of the greatest things God has done through me He did through me when I didnít feel anything, and I was always amazed afterwards when people would tell me how the power of God was upon me and how their lives were changed through my sharing Christ with them, lol. God has a sense of humor.
"So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure." (Phil 2:12-13)
Note what it says here? Years ago when God first taught me principles of time management
for the first couple of weeks of the semester I felt the Lordís presence helping me to stick to my schedule. It was necessary if I was to succeed. Then one day when I sat down to do my homework when I planned to do it in my schedule, "What? No presence!" Jesus! What is wrong?" The Lord brought Philippians 2:12-13 to my mind and said to me,
"Dale, nothing is wrong, I want you to grow up and become mature. I want you to choose to obey Me, not just because you feel me. I graced you for two weeks to get you established. Now I want you to choose to obey Me!"
Sally, nothing has changed. You have just grown up in Jesus. He graced you in the beginning, now He wants you to choose to obey Him. Decide when during the week you will go out and share Your faith, acknowledge the Lord in it and GO THEREFORE! If you can, take a Christian friend with you. If you havenít already, go through an Evangelism Training Program like mine. I have a free video which explains the value of doing this Evangelism Training Program. Maybe you already wrote for it. I donít keep records of people who have asked for it, but if you are interested, just give me an address where to send it and it and it will be in the mail on Monday. If you want I will take you through it over the internet. I would be more than happy to help you out. Get some of your other lady friends to do it with you. That is the best way. When I teach this training program in the classroom, for the first seven weeks I only take people out as observers while they practice sharing Christ in the classroom with each other. I found after many years of teaching students they need at least seven weeks to become familiar enough and comfortable enough with the message of the Gospel to be successful once they do go out. That is the first stage. There are four stages I talk about in the first Section of my Basic Textbook on Evangelism that all Christians have to go through to become successful in Evangelism. In the following link I share what is involved in the process of becoming a successful permanent ongoing witness for Jesus Christ:
I also have these in sound-byte teachings on my website in RealOne format.
This is what you need to do. You havenít changed, you have just grown up in Jesus and now he is wanting you to make an intelligent decision of obedience to Him in your use of time during the week to go out and share Christ with others, but first get trained in how to do it so that you do it intelligently. The Holy Spirit leads us by what we know, he doesnít work in a vacuum. this is what it means in Ephesians 6:15 when it says "Shod your feet with the preparation of the Gospel of peace." How do you shod your feet with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace? By going through an Evangelism Training Program and learning what the Gospel is and what it is not and what the essentials are that must be communicated in your sharing the Gospel. Paul wrote "Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things; for as you do this you will insure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you." (1 Timothy 4:16)
By learning in the training what to do with the person after they come to Christ, what discipleship is. Jesus said "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me" (John 10:27). That in a nutshell is what discipleship training is all about, teaching a person how to know what is truly Jesus' voice and then encouraging them to obey what He commands them to do.
By learning why we believe what we believe so you can give honest answers to honest questions. Peter wrote "But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence." (1 Peter 3:15)
I know, blessed are the brief, for they shall have lower phone bills, lol. God bless!
Sincerely in Jesus,
Dale P. Kruse