Three Ways to Successfully Navigate Failure in Evangelism by Kerilee Van Schooten

Learning how to navigate through failure is a crucial element of success. We know this to be true in the business world, in ministry, in our family relationships, and in pretty much every arena of our lives.

This same principle is also true about evangelism.

Despite the important role it plays in cultivating success, a conversation about how to navigate failure is typically absent from our training in sharing the gospel. Evangelism training tools often equip us in how to start conversations and initiate new relationships. We also grow in our ability to share our testimonies and communicate the gospel.

While all of these are important components of evangelism, if we do not prepare and equip people to navigate failure well, our efforts to grow in evangelism will likely be short-lived.

So how do we address that gap? How do we equip others to navigate failure well, and how do we learn from failure ourselves? Let me offer three ways to begin navigating failure well in the context of evangelism.

First, allow God to redefine both success and failure.

When it comes to having spiritual conversations with people who don’t yet trust Jesus as their Savior, it is easy to define success as having the great answers for people’s tough questions and clearly communicating the different aspects of the gospel.

While both of those things are good and necessary, it is possible to do them and still miss the point of evangelism. First Corinthians 13:1-3 tells us that without love, even the greatest spiritual gifts don’t ultimately matter. This is also true about evangelism, which is both a spiritual gift and a spiritual discipline. If we have all the right answers and can clearly explain the gospel, but don’t have love, we’re wasting our breath.

As I let this truth sink into my soul, God began to shift my understanding of success in evangelism. I used to operate under a standard of performance that required me to say the right words at the right time, but that began to fade and it was replaced by a standard of love that focused more on me having the right heart posture toward others.

I learned that if I love the lost successfully, then it’s impossible to fail, and that realization has empowered me step into spiritual conversations with more courage and freedom.

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Source: Christianity Today