In no particular order:
1. A misunderstanding of God’s sovereignty. “If God can and will save sinners, He doesn’t need me.” God’s prescribed means is for people to proclaim the gospel- Romans 10:14
2. We don’t know any non-Christians. There’s a difference between being surrounded by people and knowing them. Establish a relationship in which you can turn the conversation to Jesus in a natural manner. This may take 5 minutes or 5 years.
3. We don’t understand our role in the process. We may wrongly think that it is for the gifted, for professionals (e.g. pastors), for those who enjoy it. But in the book of Acts in addition to the apostles, ordinary people were involved in sharing the gospel (Acts 8:4). In Romans 15:18-19, Paul says that he’d proclaimed the gospel from Jerusalem to Illyricum (modern-day Albania). It is hard to believe that he did it single-handedly; apart from his associates, ordinary Christians in those areas also did their part.
4. We are unable to articulate the gospel. There are four elements to the redemption story: God, man, Christ, response. We need to be prepared beforehand.
5. Indifference, busyness, lack of love, wrong priorities, sin in our lives, etc. This includes passing up opportunities because it is too much of a bother.
6. Fear of man. Sharing the gospel will make people think less of you—1 Corinthians 1:18-29, 2 Corinthians 2:14-16. Reading through Acts, quite often something bad happened to people who shared the gospel.
7. A lack of confidence in the gospel. Getting discouraged when nothing ever happens. You never know what God’s doing behind the scenes; don’t be discouraged by the lack of immediate fruit. God causes growth and He will use us in His time.
Some suggestions for growing in faithfulness:
1. Repent. God already knows, and He loves you. Rejoice in the gospel.
2. Begin to pray. Pray for opportunities, for open doors, for courage, for fruit from past conversations.
3. Stop making excuses. You may be the only Christian some people have in their life.
4. Take a risk. Obey even when you’re not sure how it’s going to be received.
5. Look for opportunities. This goes along with prayer in point #2.
6. Resolve to love others more than you love yourself. And to be concerned for their eternal destiny.
7. Be afraid of God. Cultivate a fear of God that causes you to obey Him out of love.
8. Consider Christ. Hebrews 12:3—consider Him when you’re weary. If you’re full of Christ, that will be the overflow of your mouth.
From a talk given by Mike McKinley at The Gospel and Personal Evangelism Conference held at UCC Dubai, September 2010.