Hindrances to Evangelism

Hindrances to EvangelismText: 1 Corinthians 3:6

Generally speaking, Christians recognize the importance of evangelism. Yet there are certain obstacles (real or perceived) that hinder our efforts. Like Paul described in our text, we are simply to be engaged in the work and leave the increase to God. Some things are out of our control, but we need to focus on what we can control. Part of this is finding out what is hindering us and seeing how we can overcome these hindrances.

Time

  • We are all busy – time filled with activities that are either necessary or at least good; we often feel too busy to add another activity, even evangelism
  • We need to make sure we are using our time wisely (Ephesians 5:16) – following “empty pursuits” leads to “poverty” (Proverbs 28:19); the application here is that if we waste our time, we will not produce any fruit in this work
  • We can also shift our thinking – not think of evangelism as a separate activity; to some extent, evangelism can be done while we are doing other things (John 1:45-46; 4:6-26); we need to look for opportunities during our regular activities

Resources/Training

  • We can feel hindered by not having the right “tools” to use (tracts, cards, etc.) or because we think we have not been properly equipped to do the work
  • Many quality products available for purchase that can be very useful, but there are also free resources at our disposal
  • If we feel ill-equipped, we should work to overcome this (1 Peter 3:15) – until then, we can still offer a simple invitation (John 1:45-46)

Interest

  • If we have no personal interest in reaching the lost, we are not going to reach them
  • If this is hindering our evangelism, it needs to be addressed quickly – recognize the value of each individual as one made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26; James 3:9-10); remember why Jesus came to earth (Luke 19:10), to die for the world (John 3:16), not just for us
  • If we fully appreciate our salvation, we will be more inclined to want others to experience the same – Paul recognized he was “foremost of all” sinners (1 Timothy 1:15-16); understanding this, he was willing to suffer to carry out his work of preaching (2 Timothy 1:9-12); we should want others to be saved as we are (Acts 26:28-29)

Division

  • Anyone can invite others to the assembly, but if the local church is dysfunctional and divided, it will not be a welcoming place; also, brethren will not be inclined to work together to reach the lost if there is tension between them
  • We must be “diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3) – those who struggle to get along with one another need to be helped (Philippians 4:3); those who persist in causing problems and division need to be warned and rejected (Titus 3:9-10); one like Diotrephes must be called out and disciplined (3 John 9-10) so the church can be at peace
  • A unified church is a welcoming place for visitors and can be an effective hub for collective evangelistic activity

Distractions

  • Different from the hindrance of time (too busy) – being distracted means we miss the opportunities that arise organically
  • We must train our minds to look for opportunities to talk about the Bible, religion, church, God, etc. – be ready to give an answer (1 Peter 3:15) by preparing our minds and focusing on our hope (1 Peter 1:13)
  • We must be aware of situations we find ourselves in so we can use them to the best of our abilities

Conclusion

  • There are many people around us who need to be exposed to the gospel
  • There is more work than any one Christian or one church can do
  • Instead of being overwhelmed, we simply need to plant and water and allow God to give the increase

When you subscribe, you’ll also receive 3 free PDF’s: Plain Bible Teaching on Government, the latest issue of Plain Bible Teaching Quarterly Review, and Social Issues.