Helping People Overcome Their Fears! What is one of the greatest hindrances to faith sharing in most churches? Our National President, Rev Dr Ross Clifford, says from his extensive experience that one of the biggest issues we need to address is people’s fear of sharing their faith. “Too many people have lost their confidence in sharing the gospel, and local churches need to address this issue and help people to overcome their fears so they are more free to naturally share the gospel in a culture where so many are searching for truth,” Ross says. Working from Paul’s challenge in Romans 1, Ross shares here with PRAC readers six practical points in helping people overcome their fears. 1. Greater commitment to prayer - A faith sharing culture in the local church is built on prayer. - We need to become more intentional in encouraging people to be praying for themselves and others as they seek to share their faith e.g. prayer triplets. - “Prayer is the most powerful tool to overcome the fear bubble.” 2. More reliance on the Holy Spirit - We need to rely on the Holy Spirit’s empowering and gifting. - The Holy Spirit promises to give us the words as we share with others. - We may need to teach people more about the work of the Spirit in mission. 3. Encouragement - Paul was greatly encouraged in his evangelism by the support of the Roman Christians. - Are we building a culture of evangelistic encouragement? - Do we regularly build in space for people to share stories of encouragement? 4. Waiting Attitude - Paul knew the importance of “waiting” on God. - We need to be in tune with God’s leading and timing. There will be times of waiting as we pray for the harvest. There is also a time for action! 5. Passion/Burden - Consumerism has created a “get” rather than “give” culture in many of our churches, and too many people have lost a passion and burden to share the life-transforming message of the gospel. - Through preaching, teaching, stories, small groups, mentoring, etc, we need to be helping people reclaim a passion for the power of the gospel and a burden for those who don’t know Jesus. 6. A vision of what God can do - Paul knew the power of the gospel… “the gospel saves!” - The bigger our vision of God; the more we see and understand the difference the gospel makes in the lives of people searching for love, hope, meaning and eternity… the more we will begin to let go of our fears of sharing about Jesus. Why not take these six practical points and reflect on them in your own life over the next week? Are you modelling these principles for others? Are your leaders? Are you helping others overcome their fears? Ross explores the above points with a number of powerful stories from his own ministry experiences in sermons and workshops as he shares with churches and leaders in services and conferences around Australia. Pray for Ross in his national leadership ministry. This article first appeared in PRAC, issue #47, Winter 2006.
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