"Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words if necessary."
You've most likely heard some version of this quote, often attributed (incorrectly) to St. Francis of Assisi. The problem with this quote -- other than the fact that St. Francis never said it -- is that it forces an unnecessary, unhelpful, and unbiblical dichotomy between displaying the Gospel with one's life and declaring the Gospel with one's mouth.
While I wholeheartedly agree that Christians should live exemplary lives that display the work of the Gospel, the Bible doesn't hold this up as the definition of evangelism. Until you open your mouth and actually tell someone the good news about Jesus, you have not done the full work of Biblical evangelism.
Herein lies the majority of our insecurity and fear. Most of us feel ill-equipped to share the good news of Jesus with others. "What if I get it wrong? What if I trip over my words? What if they don't get what I'm trying to say?" I totally understand that and feel this same insecurity.
This past Sunday at Redemption, I gave our church a simple way to share the message about Jesus by dividing the good news into three parts -- the Problem, the Provision, and the Promise.
The Gospel is the good news that Jesus Christ lived, died, and rose so sinful people could be saved. If you can lock these three parts away in your heart and mind, you can share the Gospel wherever the Spirit of God leads you.
1. The Problem
The problem facing all of humanity is that sin separates us from a holy God (Is. 59:2). All of us are sinners by nature and by choice and thus stand under the righteous wrath of God (Eph. 2:1-3; Rom. 3:23). Sin is the reason there is so much evil, suffering, and tragedy in our world. The Bible is clear that the consequence of our sin is physical and spiritual death (Rom. 6:23). The good news of the Gospel is that God has made a provision for our problem.
2. The Provision
His name is Jesus. God sent Jesus, His only Son, to live a sinless life and willingly die the death that we deserved (John 3:16). In His death Jesus both pacified the righteous wrath of God and put away our sin once and for all (Rom. 3:21-26; Heb. 2:17; 1 John 2:1-2, 4:8-10). Three days later He rose from the dead, removing the penalty and destroying the power of sin (1 Cor. 15:3:-4). With this gracious provision came a promise.
3. The Promise
One of the many things that makes the Gospel so incredible is that we can author innumerable books, blogs, and articles expounding the nature, content, and implications of the Gospel, and by the same token explain it in mere seconds. If you lock away these three parts in your heart and meditate on them in your mind, you (yes, even you) can share the good news about Jesus with anyone the Spirit of God allows.