I was shocked. An international missionary of over 15 years just confessed that she still gets nervous when sharing the gospel.
Talking to a group of women at a ministry retreat, the missionary confessed that each time she feels the Holy Spirit prompting her to share about Christ, her “armpits start sweating and [her] brain goes foggy.”
Her honesty surprised me, because I never thought of a missionary getting the case of the jitters. But her truthfulness also encouraged me, because sometimes when faced with a chance to share my faith, my hands shake and my breath shortens. The stress I feel is enough to make me want to avoid evangelism altogether!
But my friend’s confession made me realize that while the Spirit empowers and emboldens us in our task to make disciples, we aren’t necessarily promised an easy path. The important part is being obedient to the Spirit’s voice and prepared to share with others.
To that end, my missionary friend shared a tool she uses when she’s in the middle of an anxiety-induced “brain fog.”
Drawn from 1 Cor. 15:3-8, the C.O.R.E is an acrostic to ensure you hit all the “bases” of the gospel message.
C - Christ died for your sins
“…Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures…” (1 Cor. 15:3)
O – Christ’s death was an ordained event
“…according to the Scriptures…” (1 Cor. 15:3)
R – Christ was resurrected
“…and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures…” (1 Cor. 15:4)
E – Christ’s death was evidenced (witnessed by others)
“…and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.” (1 Cor. 15:5-8)
I am thankful my missionary friend shared this tool with me. With her encouragement, I now have a strategy to help me navigate past my nerves. But above all, I’m thankful she was transparent enough to admit she suffers from a common weakness, yet refused to let her fears disqualify her from the Great Commission.
Have you ever let your fears disqualify you from fulfilling the Great Commission? What’s your favorite evangelism tool that helps you share the gospel?
Melissa’s motto as a Christian journalist and creative writer is to “tell of God’s marvelous works” (Ps. 9:1). And with almost 15 years experience in print and editorial services, God has embedded Melissa with passions gleaned from stories and experiences from the field. But helping women fall in love with the sweetness of God’s Word truly makes her heart sing. Two years ago, she launched HiveResources.com to help women sweeten their walk with Christ through Bible study, missions resources, and more. She recently published a 10-week Bible study,Daughters of the King, to help women find their place in the biblical story. Melissa has a M.Div. in Women’s Studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and a B.A. in Journalism from Texas A&M University. She and her husband, Jonathan, are currently part of a church plant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They have five-year-old twin boys, Zacharias and Jonah, who are unwittingly and joyfully shaping them into the image of Christ.
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