As most pastors know, it's easier to tell others about the importance of evangelism, and even to do it from the pulpit, than it is actually to do personal evangelism, face to face with someone who needs Christ.

We have so many other responsibilities, so many good reasons why we aren't sharing our faith. And yet, we still sense that quiet voice that echoes Paul's words to Timothy, a pastor, to "do the work of an evangelist" (2 Tim. 4:5).

Though the answer is not simple, neither is it as difficult as we often make it. I'm an evangelist and therefore out of town a lot. When I am home, I'm in an office handling administrative details, counseling, answering correspondence, and training Christian men. I like to have my evenings with my family, whom I don't want to lose while I'm out trying to win the world. At the same time, I want to be a personal evangelist, not simply a pulpit evangelist.

As I have wrestled with these tensions, I've identified three reasons I've used in the past for not evangelizing. ...

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