“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.”
1 Peter 3:15
As Christians, we’re all called to be evangelists. This verse from 1 Peter is just one of many in the New Testament calling followers of Christ to be witnesses and ambassadors of the gospel. Many rely on excuses or misconceptions to rule themselves out as evangelists, like “I don’t know enough scripture,” or “I’m not good with words,” or “It’s not my job, that’s what clergy are for.” All of these things are untrue.
Take the early Church for example. How many of the new followers and believers in Christ, especially the newly converted Gentiles, had a lot of scripture memorized? Most likely many of the Jewish followers did have significant knowledge of the Old Testament, but even they didn’t have the scriptures of the New Testament available. They weren’t preaching about Moses or Elijah, but about Jesus, whose story hadn’t even been collected together in what we call the Bible yet.
You may not feel particularly prepared or qualified to be the one bringing the good news of Jesus to the world, but God doesn’t need you to be prepared or qualified. God needs only for you to trust and obey, to allow the Holy Spirit to work through you. If you are a follower of Christ and you have received the Holy Spirit through baptism, then you are already qualified to tell people about the good news. Use your own story, talk about the hope that you have, tell them what you know about Jesus, even if you think it’s not a lot. And do it all with gentleness and respect, out of love for those to whom you speak.
God will do the rest.
Prepare me to give a reason for my faith to any who may ask, and even to those who don’t. Help me to trust you to give me the words and the opportunities to share your message of hope.
In Jesus’ Name,