Summary: The lesson started out to be about witnessing, but ended up a lot more about overcoming the fear of witnessing. I'd like to site an additional sermon made by Jerry Shirley on this site for the clarity that was needed in order to bring about this message.
INTRO: CRU WHEEL OF FELLOWSHING, WITNESSING, PRAYER, BIBLE
GENERAL BIBLE LESSONS ON WITNESSING TO START
BIBLE VERSE: Matthew 28:19-20
"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
BIBLE VERSE: Ephesians 6:19-20
19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
BIBLE VERSE: 2 Timothy 4:2-4
"Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching. For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths."
BIBLE VERSE: Proverbs 11:30
"The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise"
TRANSITION: So, because of these verses and hundreds of others, I believe we can honestly state that we are to witness.
WHAT ARE SOME REASONS PEOPLE DON’T WITNESS?
(leaders there plenty of answers to this, but following is some of the most common)
Believe they Lack Knowledge of the Word
Walk with the Lord is Poor
Feel like we cannot Speak Well
A failure to trust in the Lord
Live in a Christian bubble and don’t have non-Christian friends
BUT IN ALL REALITY, THE REAL ISSUE IS FEAR (SO LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT HOW WE CAN GET PAST THAT)
INTRO: Ill--A survey was given to those attending training sessions for a Billy Graham crusade in Detroit. One question asked, "What is your greatest hindrance to witnessing?"
9% SAID THEY WERE TOO BUSY
28% SAID THEY FELT THEY LACKED REAL INFORMATION TO SHARE
12% SAID THEY’RE OWN LIVES WERE NOT SPEAKING AS THEY SHOULD
51% SAID FEAR
TRANSITION: SO HOW DO WE GET OVER IT?
1. ASK GOD FOR THE FILLING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Peter, at the crucifixion ran for his life and cowered down when questioned about the Lord. He denied Jesus three times and even cursed according to scripture.
Then in Acts 4:13 he spoke boldly! So what happened? He was filled with the Holy Spirit. Now, the filling of the Holy Spirit is a tricky process and one that we are not covering with this lesson—but it starts with repentance. So if you want the Spirit’s guidance and direction, ask for forgiveness of your sins and begin right there.
2. PRAY EARNESTLY ABOUT YOUR FEAR
BIBLE VERSE: Psalm 34:4
I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
Another verse that I believe is super powerful is Joshua 1:9, it’s one of the key verses we taught our kids growing up and even had them memorized it in a song (leaders, if you have a Papez in your group—and it’s likely cause there’s a gaggle of them—ask them to sing the Joshua 1:9 song—they better know it LOL).
3. DON’T BE AFRAID OF MAKING MISTAKES
The following is passage is from Pastor Jerry Shirley, Pastor of Grace Baptist Church (whose information from a sermon titled Overcoming Fear in Witnessing led directly to this Bible Lesson). He states,
“The biggest mistake is not to try/to say nothing.
God will still use your witness even if you make a mistake…He blesses your obedience of trying, else it would be about you…can YOU save them? No, He can, and when you open your mouth, He’ll fill it!
Example: John 1:45-49
Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.  And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.  Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!  Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.  Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel. “
The point Pastor Shirley is making is that if God wants to use you…He is going to use you. And there is just nothing you can do about it…except say nothing!