This paper examines the results of a survey developed in early 2019 and completed by forty members of OMF by September of that year. The first part of the survey identified the fears that members experience while sharing the gospel. Specifically, it looked for answers to the question, “To whom do you fear something bad might happen if you share the good news?” The second part of the survey sought to better understand the specific fears that are faced and the solutions which help the respondents deal with those fears.

Andy Smith has served with OMF International in the Philippines since 1989. For several years, he planted churches which forced him to learn to deal with his fears in sharing the good news. Then he served in field leadership and training roles in which he helped others learn to deal with their fears. He is currently OMF’s International Coordinator for Evangelization.

Andy Smith

Fear in Sharing the Good News

Mission Round Table Vol. 15 No. 1 (Jan-Apr 2020): 34-41

Introduction

God wants every person to have a chance to hear and respond to the good news of Jesus Christ. However, his messengers sometimes fail to do their part. Chua Wee Hian reported the following incident.

In 1970, my colleague Ada Lim and I were invited to a training conference attended by eight Thai students together with the young missionary. I had the responsibility of teaching the students how to share their faith with others. Half way through our week of training I suggested that they should have some practical field-work in the village market near our campsite. The Thai students protested, saying, “We Thais are very polite. We can’t just go and talk to strangers about Jesus Christ.” I replied, “We Chinese are also very polite, but it’s not a matter of courtesy! It’s a matter of our willingness to obey Christ’s command to be his witnesses.”[1]

Faithful Christians share the good news. Other Christians are less eager to do so. Like the students above, certain fears restrict their involvement. A variety of factors such as cultural values, personality traits, and lack of training can produce these fears. As Chua Wee Hian indicated, solutions exist which can help us deal with them.

Scope of the research

Initially, I wanted to research the good news and emotions. I started gathering biblical passages in which these two subjects appeared. I eventually realized that there is way too much material on that topic. So I reviewed what I had collected and decided to limit my research to the fears that Christians face when sharing the good news of Jesus Christ and the solutions they have found for dealing with those fears.

My experience as a trainer further compelled me to focus on this topic. I facilitate seminars and workshops on evangelism. Participants in those events frequently confess that fear hinders them from sharing the good news. We then discuss those fears. Those conversations have shown me that we experience a variety of fears and that each of them can prevent us from telling others the gospel.

Research methodology

In order to prepare this paper, I surveyed fellow members of OMF International. Since we are a large organization, I chose to survey only those who have attended our training course in evangelism. However, since over two hundred and thirty had taken this course by January 2019, I selected a subset of that number made up of people who I feel represent our organization’s diversity.

The survey had two parts. The first part identified the fears our members experience while sharing the gospel. Specifically, it looked for answers to the question, “To whom do you fear something bad might happen if you share the good news?” The second part sought to better understand the specific fears that are faced. It also requested solutions which help them deal with those fears. The surveys are included at the end of this paper.

The surveys behind this study were developed in early 2019 and completed by forty members of OMF by September of that year. Half are men; half are women. Twenty-three serve in open access contexts. Seventeen serve in creative access contexts. The respondents come from ten different countries and serve on eleven fields. Three are from homesides which face unique tensions because of our evangelistic efforts.

Identifying our fears: Results of the first survey

It is significant that none of the respondents replied “Always” to any of the first seven questions. It is encouraging that only ten replied “Often” to one or more of them. These two findings suggest that fear hinders our members’ sharing of the good news less frequently than might have been thought. They could also suggest that the respondents have discovered solutions which help them deal with these fears.

Because seventy-seven percent of the respondents replied “Often” or “Occasionally” to at least one of the seven questions, I chose to group them together in interpreting the survey.

Questions one through seven reveal the most common fear: something bad might happen to those to whom the good news is shared. Sixty percent of the respondents said they often or occasionally face this fear. According to question 8, forty percent of them think something bad is most likely to happen to those to whom the good news is shared.

The second most common fear is that something bad would happen to the respondent, the one sharing the good news. Forty-three percent said they often or occasionally face this fear. In question eight, twenty-five percent think something bad is most likely to happen to himself/herself.

Two fears tied as the third most common: something bad would happen to the respondent’s (1) field or (2) team. Twenty-five percent of the respondents said they often or occasionally face these fears. Only eight percent of those answering question 8 think something bad is most likely to happen to their field or team.

A significant twenty percent expressed fear that something bad might happen to their family. A similar number, seventeen percent, think something bad is most likely to happen to their family (question 8).

mrt-15.1.-fear-in-sharing-question-9

Thirteen of the fifteen respondents who said they serve in a context where they are free to share are in open access contexts. Those serving in creative access contexts gave a variety of answers: five percent replied “Free to share;” seventeen percent replied “Mostly free to share;” twenty-one percent replied “Restrictions to sharing;” and two percent replied “Illegal to share.”

mrt-15.1-q10-chart

Forty-three percent of the respondents think they have the gift of sharing the good news. Thirteen of the seventeen who gave the reply serve in open access contexts. Another thirty-eight percent think they might have this gift.

Dealing with our fears: Results of the second survey plus other insights

I wanted only those respondents who replied “Always,” “Often,” or “Occasionally” to a question in the first survey to answer the related questions in the second survey. The related questions asked for details about that fear and about solutions that help them deal with it. However, some people provided these details even though they had answered “Rarely” or “Never” to a certain fear. Upon reflection, I decided to include their replies in the findings because the practices which greatly reduce the impact of those fears on their sharing of the good news might help others for whom the impact is felt often or occasionally.

It was beyond the scope of this research to evaluate the suggested solutions. As a result, I will simply list them below.

Biblical insights

Where appropriate, I will add biblical thoughts to the following discussion. This is because Christians mentioned in the New Testament were sometimes afraid to share the good news. At other times, they boldly shared it (I found thirteen such examples: Acts 4:13; 4:31; 9:27; 9:28; 13:46; 14:3; 18:26; 19:8; 26:26; 28:31; 2 Cor 3:12; Phil 1:14; and 1 Thess 2:2). These incidences can teach us much about dealing with our fears.

Insights from articles

I will also add thoughts from several articles. Knowing that many people turn to the internet for practical help, I did a Google search on “evangelism and fear” on 16 January 2019. It gave me 7,120,000 results. I then read the top nine results.[2] Although written for Christians in general and not necessarily for those engaged in cross-cultural work, each article shared some helpful ideas.

I noted that a few of the articles assure us that experiencing fear when sharing the good news is normal. In his article, York explains,

First, fear in evangelism is normal. It assures you that you are a normal human being. After all, Paul the apostle was afraid to evangelize. How does he admit to entering Corinth? He determined to be true to the message of Christ and the cross, but he admits to being with them ‘in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling’ (1 Cor. 2:3). In a city filled with such godlessness, impurity, and vice, such fear is certainly understandable.[3]

York continues, “fear in evangelism has nothing to do with the presence or lack of spirituality. It has everything to do with being human.”[4] With that in mind, the respondents’ replies about how they deal with fear in sharing the good news will now be reviewed.

Fear that something bad might happen to me

Thirty-four respondents replied to the follow-up questions about this fear. The most common fear, named by nine, is that of being rejected. This includes being avoided by others they have not yet shared with. Some fear the loneliness that can result from such rejection. Six listed the second most common fear, a closely related one: damaging their relationships with locals.

Beougher thinks this fear of rejection is “the greatest source of fear” in sharing the good news. He urges us to be honest about it: “our fear of rejection is really loving the approval of men more than the approval of God.”[5] In his article, Root suggests that we can overcome this fear by being rooted in God’s love. He explains:

The Scriptures say that ‘perfect love casts out fear’ (1 John 4:18). I suppose a corollary could be drawn from this that ‘imperfect love breeds anxiety.’ If I am looking to anyone other than God as a primary source of love, then I am setting myself up to be afraid and insecure, especially when it comes to sharing the gospel.[6]

Six respondents mentioned the fear of being kicked out of the community; four, the fear of making people mad; and three, the fear of being harmed physically. Four fear they will not know how to answer tough questions. Three are concerned that they will convey the message poorly. Two think they will look foolish. Such fears were addressed in several of the articles in which the authors make a distinction between good and bad fear. Regarding those he trains in evangelism, Wallace comments that “Their fears are centered myopically in their concern for how they were going to appear to the world around them.” He believes that our fear of evangelism stems mostly from “our desire to be comfortable, and there’s nothing more uncomfortable than being embarrassed or humiliated by our peers.”[7] Scrivener agrees: “The fear which dominates us apart from Christ is the ‘fear of men’.”[8] However, Wallace also finds positive value in our bad fears: “Sometimes our fears expose what’s really important to us, so they’re a good place to assess and address our priorities.”[9]

Regarding solutions for dealing with these fears, twenty respondents mentioned prayer. Most pray for wisdom to know what to share and for boldness to share it. Fifteen expressed something about doing their part and trusting God to his. They specifically trust in his sovereignty, love, and presence. This solution makes me think of the early church in Jerusalem. In Acts 4, the Jewish Council arrested Peter and John, interrogated them, and then “charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus” (Acts 4:18).[10] When released, the pair returned to the gathered church. All then prayed. Afterwards, “they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:31).

Eight respondents emphasized preparation as a way for overcoming this fear. This solution reminds me of Apollos who was competent in the Scriptures. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord. Further, Priscilla and Aquila had “explained to him the way of God more accurately” (Acts 18:24–28). Scrivener and York echo the need to pursue better equipping. Scrivener explains: “In perhaps the Bible’s clearest verse on personal evangelism, Peter tells us to be ‘prepared.’ … We are to be prepared with words, with an ‘apologia’—meaning answering words (1 Peter 3:15).” Quoting from the same verse, he shares his thoughts about “the ultimate preparation for evangelism: ‘In your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy’” because

We speak out what we are “full of.” This is an inescapable fact of human psychology. We are always evangelizing. We are always speaking of what is “holy” to us. If something is sacred, set apart, consecrated, of first importance, it will overflow from our hearts and into our conversations. So Peter counsels us to fill our hearts with “Christ the Lord’.[11]

Three respondents highlighted the need for developing their ability in the local language. Six talked about building strong relationships with people before sharing with them.

Five respondents mentioned the Bible. They read it, memorize its promises, and thus find security in God. The Apostle Paul found such security. For instance, Acts 18:9–10 recounts a situation in which opposition might have quieted him. Through a vision, the Lord encouraged him, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.” Several years later, Paul was being held in the Roman soldiers’ barracks in Jerusalem. The Lord again strengthened him: “Take courage, for as you have testified to the facts about me in Jerusalem, so you must testify also in Rome” (Acts 23:11).

Kohlmeyer affirms the value of knowing God’s Word. She believes it “is key to overcoming our fear of feeling inadequate … as we evangelize.”[12] Meditate on it. Get to know it well. Hide it on our hearts.

Five respondents testified about embracing Jesus’ teaching on rejection which helped them die to self.

Respondents also suggested other solutions that are highly practical: use Bible storying; do evangelism with local Christians; go in pairs; gain experience in sharing; arrange a time and place where you will share with a certain person; ask the person’s permission before sharing; and ask better spiritual diagnosis questions.

Kohlmeyer’s general recommendation is a good conclusion to this section: “Beloved children of the King, bring your fears and anxieties about sharing the gospel with others to God in prayer. Pray that words might be given to you in opening your mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, that you might declare it boldly as you ought to speak (Ephesians 6:19–20).”[13]

Fear that something bad might happen to my family

Twenty respondents replied to the follow-up questions about this fear. Six mentioned the fear that loved ones will experience a spiritual attack. Four fear that family members will be harmed physically, perhaps even kidnapped or killed. Three reported incidents in which their relatives back home got sick. Three mentioned fears related to their children, such as living in an unsafe environment. One explained that their sharing the good news caused their children to lack friends in the community.

Prayer was by far the most common solution mentioned for dealing with these fears, named by fourteen respondents. They pray for their family, pray with their family, pray with others for their family, send specific requests to others, and urge those others to pray for their family. Eight respondents emphasized the need to trust God. They hold onto his promises and keep in mind Christ’s protection and victory, and God’s guidance, power, and authority.

The authors of three of the articles urge us to acknowledge and even nurture good fear. Beougher advises,

In terms of dealing with fear and evangelism, I think the starting point is to realize that not all fear is bad. Fear reminds us of the significance of the task of sharing the gospel. It’s not something we should take lightly, and it also forces us to depend on the Lord, and in that case, fear can be a very helpful thing.[14]

Respondents mentioned additional solutions once each: doing regular risk assessments, listening to hymns, informing their family about what they are doing, and asking prayer partners to support relatives back home. One whose family shares the good news together in a crime-filled environment mentioned the need to be as wise as serpents and innocent as doves (Matt 10:16).

Fear that something bad might happen to my sending church

Thirteen respondents replied to the follow-up questions about this fear. Three who serve a resistant people in their own country fear that their church might be threatened or attacked.

Although some of the respondents did not give specifics about this fear, all of them provided solutions. Four mentioned trusting God. One tries not to worry. Another clings to God’s promises that, though we suffer for the gospel, he walks with us. Four highlighted the importance of keeping their sending church aware and informed. Specifically, they remind those congregations to be aware of potential opposition, to pray for protection, and to use care in communicating with them.

Three respondents listed prayer. One sees this fear as a good opportunity to talk to their sending church about spiritual warfare.

Fear that something bad might happen to my homeside

Eleven respondents replied to the follow-up questions about this fear. Only one of them is from a homeside that faces unique pressures because of our evangelistic efforts. Three fear that their homeside will become busy with crisis management. Two fear that their homeside will be threatened or attacked. One mentioned their homeside might experience spiritual attacks. Another expressed concern that something bad might happen to their homeside if that homeside is too pushy in seeking updates from the field.

Regarding solutions for dealing with these fears, four listed prayer. Two talked about trusting God; one also highlighted the need to stop worrying. Additional solutions were mentioned once each: remind the homeside to communicate carefully with their workers; reveal little about one’s homeside; and be wise.

Fear that something bad might happen to my field or sector

Twenty respondents replied to the follow-up questions about this fear. Six fear that their entire field might be expelled from the place of service. Two are concerned that their field will become busy with crisis management. Two mentioned the fear that their field will be threatened or attacked.

Regarding solutions for dealing with these fears, six respondents mentioned prayer. Three emphasized the need to build good relationships with those they serve. Two talked about trusting God. Two respondents said that the name of their organization or field should not be revealed. At the same time, members should seek advice from their field leaders. Members should also be reminded about our vision for church movements and mission movements. This solution brings Paul’s admonition to Timothy to mind. The apostle urged his young co-worker to “share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling,” linking their appointment to suffering. He also reminded him that they are part of an eternal plan that God put in place “before the ages began” (2 Tim 1:8–9, 11–12a).

Additional solutions were listed once each: contextualize; identify with those we serve; be humble; have a clear identity; try not to create situations that complicate life for other members; do regular risk assessments; be wise; learn more about those we serve and how to share with them; and take time to rest.

Fear that something bad might happen to my team

Twenty-two respondents replied to the follow-up questions about this fear. Six fear that their team might be kicked out of their place of service. Four are concerned that their sharing might lead to conflict, disagreements, and disunity within the team. Three are afraid that it might lead to the team members being attacked, kidnapped, or even killed. Two respondents mentioned the fear of spiritual attacks. Two also listed the general fear that they will cause their team trouble. York acknowledges that “Rejection, ridicule, and anger come with the territory in evangelism.” Quoting Matthew 10:28, he counsels us, “we know we are told not to fear even the most violent of reactions against the gospel.”[15]

Regarding solutions for dealing with these fears, five respondents listed prayer of a general kind. Three included trusting God. Three also talked about being better prepared for sharing. Two emphasized going out in pairs. Two highlighted specific team practices. Others repeated some of the practices they made. Those practices include the following. Teams should meet regularly, study Bible passages on issues in sharing, pray, explain the intent of their actions, and confess their mistakes. They should aim for genuine communication and a growing understanding of each other in discussing issues together. They should do regular risk assessments, warn each other about possible bad reactions to their sharing, and temporarily halt their work in a community when necessary. They should ensure that long-term emotional support and immediate housing is provided for those who get kicked out. And they should keep their vision in front of them.

In a way, Saul’s being accepted by the disciples in Jerusalem has some parallels (Acts 9:26–29). Initially, “they were all afraid of him.” So Barnabas explained his coming to faith, calling, and bold preaching in the name of Jesus. His actions allowed Saul to become part of the church in that city and to go “in and out among them …, preaching boldly in the name of the Lord.”

Respondents mentioned several other solutions once each: be careful when in public areas; befriend the people before sharing with them; contextualize; identify with the people; take time to rest; and be wise.

Fear that something bad might happen to the people I share with

Thirty-two respondents replied to the follow-up questions about this fear. Twelve expressed fear that the person will face some kind of opposition from their family, ranging from pressure to rejection to physical harm. Eight also mentioned their fear that the person will be persecuted and perhaps even killed. Two respondents each named the following fears: the person might lose job opportunities; the person might return to their former way of life; the person might face Satanic opposition; and “I may make it difficult for them to find Jesus.”

Beougher addresses the latter fear. Some Christians are “afraid that they might do more harm than good.” He has observed that sensitive believers usually make this comment and yet they rarely fail in this way. He believes it is less sensitive believers who “come across as aggressive” and cause such problems.[16]

Regarding solutions for dealing with these fears, nine respondents mentioned prayer; one specified prayer against the power of evil. Six highlighted trusting God. They trust in his sovereign control, power, love, and care, and the fact that he is more concerned about the person’s salvation than the messenger is.

Kohlmeyer emphasizes that sharing the good news is a spiritual endeavor. She first warns us about our enemy: “Recognize that fear is from Satan. It is one of the many tactics he employs to shut us down and shut us up.” Then she reminds us about our Helper: “Through the Spirit we are emboldened and empowered, like the apostles in the Book of Acts, to speak life-saving words to those who are perishing (Acts 4:31, 13:52; 1 Corinthians 2:4). His power is available to us, 24/7/365.”[17]

Four respondents remind themselves that it is better for a person to find Jesus and lose their life than to live longer but be eternally separated from Jesus. Four emphasized the need to share the good news in a way the people can understand. Three are committed to long-term discipleship as seen in training believers in crisis management, preparing them for suffering, and meeting with them regularly for prayer. Three also expressed the need to show to those they are sharing with that they really love and care for those people.

Two respondents are helped by their personal devotions. One mentioned the Acts of the Apostles and church history as aids in overcoming this fear. These solutions are similar to the testimony of the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem who witnessed the boldness of Peter and John. They “perceived that they were uneducated, common men…. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13).

In his article, Scrivener makes a related point: “The ‘fear of the Lord’ is … actually about being magnetically attracted to, possessed with, and awed by his all-compelling majesty…. Such fear is a liberating fear. It means that, when it comes to evangelism, we fight fear with fear. The fears will come…. But as we enter a conversation, we are not to be awed by the desire to be liked. Instead, we should be awed by the all-surpassing greatness of Christ.”[18]

Two respondents emphasized the importance of befriending entire families, not just one member of a family. One explained that they study the good news in groups, encouraging group members to share what they learned with their families and friends, to bring their families and friends to the study, and to lead studies among their families and friends.

Two respondents also included a helpful reminder about carefully choosing where to meet with those they are sharing with. Two highlighted the need to point the person to the God who can help them to stand. Two others are helped by remembering how God has protected those they shared with in the past. These last two suggestions echo the reason why Paul was not ashamed of sharing the good news: “For I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me.” He then urged Timothy to imitate his way of sharing the good news (2 Tim 1:12b–13).

One respondent lets people decide on actions themselves whereas another guides them in what to do. One respondent, who serves in a context with very little serious persecution, reminds himself of that fact.

One respondent each also mentioned the following solutions: be ready to do appropriate immediate follow-up of those who believe; share your testimony; do not rush baptism; be wise; and be sensitive to the work of the Holy Spirit. Several Bible passages show that Paul and his team followed the Holy Spirit in their sharing of the good news (Acts 13:2, 4, 9; 16:6–7).

Additional biblical insights for dealing with these fears

Other Bible passages offer additional insights into what compelled early Christians to share the good news in spite of challenging situations.

  • In Iconium, Paul and Barnabas spoke “boldly for the Lord, who bore witness to the word of his grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands” (Acts 14:1–3).
  • Paul’s desire to finish the work that the Lord Jesus gave him, “to testify to the gospel of the grace of God,” was more precious to him than his life (Acts 20:17–24).
  • Paul talked boldly to Festus and King Agrippa because he spoke “true and rational words” and because he knew the king was aware of the events to which he bore witness (Acts 26:25–26).
  • Paul was “under obligation” to a wide variety of people and was “not ashamed of the gospel” since “it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Rom 1:14–16).
  • The necessity of preaching the gospel was laid on Paul. He preached it because of his desire to be a good steward of it (1 Cor 9:16–17).
  • Paul desired to win people to faith in Christ and to “share with them in its blessings” (1 Cor 9:19–23).
  • Paul expected God to answer the prayers of the saints in Ephesus which meant he would give him the words to speak and the boldness to speak them (Eph 6:19–20).
  • Paul and Silas “had boldness in our God to declare … the gospel of God in the midst of much conflict” because their appeal did “not spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive;” instead, they had “been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel” and therefore spoke “to please God who tests our hearts” (1 Thess 2:2–4).
  • Paul reminded Timothy “to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in” him. He explained why: “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (2 Tim 1:6–7).

All of the fears

Compiling all the replies for the second survey reveals the following most common fears:

  • Expulsion from the place of service.
  • Being persecuted, perhaps including physical harm (to the ones sharing, their relatives, church, field, homeside, or team; or to those whom they are serving).
  • Spiritual attacks.
  • Rejection and the resultant loneliness.
  • Damaged relationships with local people.

Here is a list of the most common ways for dealing with these fears:

  • Prayer.
  • Trusting God.
  • Preparation (additional solutions, such as Bible reading, contextualization, and embracing Jesus’ teaching on rejection, could be included with this one).
  • Befriending of people—entire families if possible—before sharing with them.
  • Team interactions.

Conclusion

God wants every person to have a chance to hear and respond to the good news. He has assigned the sharing of this news to his sons and daughters. Most of us experience various fears when carrying out that task or even when thinking about doing so. The Bible, the nine online articles, and the findings of this survey suggest that such fears are normal. The same sources also provide ideas for dealing with them.

Grow in your understanding of the majesty of God. Desire to please Him. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus. Stay filled with the Spirit. Prepare well. Acknowledge your fears. Confess your bad ones. Ask God to make you bold. Engage in spiritual warfare. Develop a strong sending base that knows you well and prays for you. Know those to whom you plan to share. Know the good news. Learn from effective sharers of it. Share it as a good steward. When possible, do it with a partner. Trust God to lead you as you go.

Finally, desire to share in the gospel’s blessings and be willing to suffer for it. Keep in mind the joy of people “seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ” (2 Cor 4:4) for the first time. To be there when it happens, to have played a part in it, is to be reminded anew of the blessings we have received in Christ. It is to partake in the “joy in heaven over one sinner who repents” (Luke 15:7). Accept too that sharing the good news and suffering are linked. God has called us to both. His power will enable us to endure the second while or as a result of our having faithfully carried out the first.

Additional research to consider

Due to limitations, I chose to focus on certain aspects of this subject. As I proceeded, I listed additional aspects that might be helpful to do further research on.

  • Look more closely at the differences between those who serve in contexts where they are free to share the good news and those who serve in contexts where there are restrictions on sharing it.
  • Look for patterns among those from each field. (I was able to do this for one which they found helpful.)
  • Look for patterns among those of each ethnicity.
  • Look for patterns among those of each gender.
  • Look more closely at the differences between those with the gift of evangelism and those who lack it.
  • Look for patterns among those from each homeside.
  • Look more closely at the differences between newer members and long-time members.
  • Look more closely at the differences between younger and older members.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the suggested solutions.

First survey

Andy Smith is trying to better understand the fears that prevent us from sharing the good news more often. He also wants to discover the solutions that help us overcome this fear.

For each question below, circle the best answer. It should take you about 15 minutes to complete the questionnaire. After doing so, please return it to Andy Smith.

1. When sharing the good news or thinking about sharing it, how often do you fear that something bad might happen to you?

Always          Often          Occasionally          Rarely          Never

2. When sharing the good news or thinking about sharing it, how often do you fear that something bad might happen to your family?

Always          Often          Occasionally          Rarely          Never

3. When sharing the good news or thinking about sharing it, how often do you fear that something bad might happen to your sending church?

Always          Often          Occasionally          Rarely          Never

4. When sharing the good news or thinking about sharing it, how often do you fear that something bad might happen to your homeside?

Always          Often          Occasionally          Rarely          Never

5. When sharing the good news or thinking about sharing it, how often do you fear that something bad might happen to your field?

Always          Often          Occasionally          Rarely          Never

6. When sharing the good news or thinking about sharing it, how often do you fear that something bad might happen to your team?

Always          Often          Occasionally          Rarely          Never

7. When sharing the good news or thinking about sharing it, how often do you fear that something bad might happen to those you share it with?

Always          Often          Occasionally          Rarely          Never

8. When sharing the good news or thinking about sharing it, for which of the following do you fear that something bad is most likely to happen?

You          Your family          Your sending church          Your homeside

Your field          Your team          Those you share it with

9. In which kind of context do you serve?

Free to share          Mostly free to share          Restrictions to sharing

Illegal to share

10. Do you think you have the gift of sharing the good news?

Yes          Maybe          No

Homeside:

Field:

Name:

I will not reveal your name when publishing the findings. However, if you share a unique fear or a really helpful solution, I might want to follow-up with you to learn more about it. Therefore, I need to know your name.

Second survey

Thank you for participating in the first survey. I am now sending you questions that correspond to your answers to it. Please answer them and return them to me. Thanks!

11a. When sharing the good news or thinking about sharing it, what do you fear might happen to you?

11b. What solutions have you found that help you deal with this fear?

12a. When sharing the good news or thinking about sharing it, what do you fear might happen to your family?

12b. What solutions have you found that help you deal with this fear?

13a. When sharing the good news or thinking about sharing it, what do you fear might happen to your sending church?

13b. What solutions have you found that help you deal with this fear?

14a. When sharing the good news or thinking about sharing it, what do you fear might happen to your homeside?

14b. What solutions have you found that help you deal with this fear?

15a. When sharing the good news or thinking about sharing it, what do you fear might happen to your field/sector?

15b. What solutions have you found that help you deal with this fear?

16a. When sharing the good news or thinking about sharing it, what do you fear might happen to your team?

16b. What solutions have you found that help you deal with this fear?

17a. When sharing the good news or thinking about sharing it, what do you fear might happen to those you share with?

17b. What solutions have you found that help you deal with this fear?

[1] Chua Wee Hian, Learning to Lead: Biblical Leadership Then and Now (Leicester: IVP, 1987), 187.

[2] The Google search on “Evangelism and fear” yielded these articles as the top nine: Timothy K. Beougher, “How Do I Overcome My Fear of Evangelism?,” Southern Equip, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, http://equip.sbts.edu/video/overcome-fear-evangelism/; EvangelismCoach, “18 Common Evangelism Fears,” 29 April 2018, https://www.evangelismcoach.org/fears-of-evangelism/; EvangelismCoach, “20 Fears about Personal Evangelism,” 1 May 2018, https://www.evangelismcoach.org/evangelism-fears/; Denise Kohlmeyer, “How Do We Overcome the Fear of Evangelism?,” Unlocking the Bible, 30 April 2018, https://unlockingthebible.org/2018/04/how-do-we-overcome-the-fear-of-evangelism/; Larry Moyer, “Overcoming Fear in Evangelism,” http://www.evantell.org/blog/how-to-overcome-fear-in-evangelism-initial-steps/; Jerry Root, “How Can We Overcome Our Fear of Evangelism?,” The Exchange with Ed Stetzer, Christianity Today, 7 August 2018, https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2018/august/how-can-we-overcome-our-fear-of-evangelism.html; Glen Scrivener, “Evangelism Made Simple: The Key to Overcoming Your Fear,” Desiring God, 23 January 2018, https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/evangelism-made-simple; J. Warner Wallace, “The Source of Our Fear When It Comes to Evangelism,” Cold-case Christianity with J. Warner Wallace, 17 March 2017, https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/the-source-of-our-fear-when-it-comes-to-evangelism/; Barry York, “Overcoming Fear in Evangelism,” Gentle Reformation, 3 December 2018, https://gentlereformation.com/2018/12/03/overcoming-3-main-fears-in-evangelism/ (all the above articles were accessed on 16 January 2019).

[3] York, “Overcoming Fear in Evangelism.”

[4] York, “Overcoming Fear in Evangelism.”

[5] Beougher, “How Do I Overcome My Fear of Evangelism?

[6] Root, “How Can We Overcome Our Fear of Evangelism?”

[7] Wallace, “The Source of Our Fear When It Comes to Evangelism.” Italics original.

[8] Scrivener, “Evangelism Made Simple.”

[9] Wallace, “The Source of Our Fear When It Comes to Evangelism.”

[10] This and all following Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

[11] Scrivener, “Evangelism Made Simple.” Italics original.

[12] Kohlmeyer, “How Do We Overcome the Fear of Evangelism?”

[13] Kohlmeyer, “How Do We Overcome the Fear of Evangelism?” Italics original.

[14] Beougher, “How Do I Overcome My Fear of Evangelism?”

[15] York, “Overcoming Fear in Evangelism.”

[16] Beougher, “How Do I Overcome My Fear of Evangelism?”

[17] Kohlmeyer, “How Do We Overcome the Fear of Evangelism?”

[18] Scrivener, “Evangelism Made Simple.” Italics original.

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