When people talked about evangelism, I always felt afraid. I was afraid of putting myself out there. I also grew up thinking, “That’s the pastor’s job,” or that it was the responsibility of people who had the “gift of evangelism.” I felt like I could hide behind that, and it gave me a really good excuse.
I also grew up in a small town in Wisconsin. It felt like everyone I knew was a Christian. I grew up with the idea that we didn’t talk about personal things, and that included our stories of faith and our stories of where we struggled. In our tiny town, respecting our families meant keeping quiet about the things that were hard. That also included places where Jesus showed up the most.
We had only been trained in evangelism that was door to door. What if I said something wrong? What if they already knew Jesus? Sharing my faith felt like something you could do overseas—but not across the street.
But then I left for college. For the first time, I owned my faith personally. I began to understand how my story and the story of Jesus intersected every day of my life. My perspective changed when I really understood how much God loved me. My heart began to grow bigger for people who did not know God. As I continued my faith journey, there were so many bumps and bruises. But God kept working on me, and I began to let go of some things. That led to a growing willingness to share with other people what God has been doing in my journey.
I am an introvert, through and through! I love working behind the scenes, buzzing through the details. If you would have asked me in high school if I had any evangelism in me, I would have told you that I had just enough to fill my pinky toe!
But once I saw what God could do through me, it has become like something churning inside of me that I can’t let go. Now I love sharing what God is doing, naturally and wherever God leads me. Here are four simple ways that you, my fellow introvert, can grow deeper in your evangelism journey.
I pray all the time. I ask God to open my eyes. As an introvert, I’m always hanging back, observing. We introverts see so much! Because we are observing, we can easily notice people or things that we can commit to prayer. Use your skills of observation to see where God might have you notice someone to connect with or pray for. After you see it, trust that God will show you how to respond.
2. Start where you are.
My heart is for the littlest ones of the church—the children. It always has been. I was a teacher before I joined the staff at my church. I wasn’t sure where to start on my evangelism journey, so I started close to home: I asked God how to start caring and sharing faith with the children in our children’s ministry. My heart grew and grew as I saw kids understand God’s love for them and understand how they too could have a personal relationship with Jesus.
3. Ask God to send you friends to journey with you.
I thank God for my extrovert friends! When I saw all the different ways that they shared their faith, I realized that there wasn’t just “one way” to share your faith. I realized that my way was going to be different, and that gave me a lot of freedom. I began to participate in citywide movements like Jesus Loves Kzoo, which brings churches together to express Jesus’s love to the city of Kalamazoo. Participating has allowed me to grow in relationships with people who are different from me. We care for each other in real community. We’ve learned each other’s stories, and I can share my story of Jesus.
4. Remember that it’s a journey.
Growing into a heart for evangelism takes baby steps of obedience. You watch. You try. You make mistakes. You see God move. Sometimes you may still worry about “doing it wrong.” Evangelism is definitely not a checklist; it’s a willingness to walk where God is leading. It is caring for people. As God cares for you, you find simple ways to care for others that God brings into your life as you follow him.
As introverts, it is so easy to hang back. But once you realize that you are loved, you want to love people. Your heart gets bigger and bigger for the lost. Evangelism is not “in my little toe” anymore—it’s not hidden. God keeps showing me ways where I can keep sharing my faith in everything I do.