Referee holding penalty flagIn football and in sharing the Gospel, most players dream of scoring the winning touchdown. As the player progresses down the field with the goal line in sight, he is willing to do whatever it takes to get the ball across it. However, if he meets strong resistance and the whistle blows but he keeps pushing, the player may receive a penalty. Chapter 5 of In the Red Zone highlights some things to be aware of to avoid “penalties”–like damaging the relationship–when sharing your faith.

Get Past Blockers

There are a few reasons you may run into resistance when sharing your faith. The person may have deep spiritual obstacles they must overcome over the course of time. They may have a difficult background or personal viewpoint that they are not ready to open up about to you. Whether or not you will eventually be the person that leads them to the Lord, you should be a genuine friend by listening, understanding, and encouraging them along the way.

Realize It’s a Team Effort

Remember that it isn’t solely your responsibility to win someone to Christ; your responsibility is to tell the Gospel message. The person may not be in the red zone during your particular encounter; God may use other people over time to influence the person and bring them into a personal relationship with Christ.

Be Aware of the Spirit’s Guidance

As you prayerfully share your faith with others, ask God to help you determine where the person is in their spiritual journey. If they change the subject or become immediately defensive, they may need more time before they can enter the red zone.

To learn more about avoiding penalties when sharing your faith, be sure to read chapter five of In the Red Zone. You can order your copy online or download the Kindle edition to learn more about how to share your faith today. For small group or church-wide training, be sure to explore The Red Zone Evangelism Complete Kit.