After one of his sermons on this subject, I e-mail'd my pastor asking for prayer as I knew I'd be having the opportunity to share the gospel with someone dear to me.
His response was this:
"Be bold with the gospel...our confidence is not in "persuasive words of wisdom" but in the power of the gospel itself."
The power is the gospel, not how fluffy, flowery and nice I can make it sound. The Word is clear about what will follow being a Christian: pain, tribulation and persecution. But it is also clear about something else: It's worth it. Infinitely worth it.
I wonder how different our evangelism would look if we were to stop making the cross of Christ void by trying to be clever in our witnessing? What if we instead preached the purity of the gospel in all of its power and glory? What if we said what Christ said "If you follow me you will endure persecution" to people who weren't yet saved? What if the church stopped trying to trick people into coming to becoming Christians by emotional highs and half truths and simply taught them the gospel? What if we began to see what privilege it is just to have the opportunity to worship our great God and were able to share that with others without apologizing that being a Christian isn't "fun" in the secular sense? What if we stopped trying to convince them that if they become a Christian they won't have to give up anything? What if we told them the truth: That they have to give up everything. Everything. Die daily, pick up their cross and follow Christ? What would happen if we then told them of the glory of the world to come, our hope?
The scripture that provoked these thoughts:"For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would be made void.
For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
For it is written,
"I WILL DESTROY THE WISDOM OF THE WISE, AND THE CLEVERNESS OF THE CLEVER I WILL SET ASIDE."
And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God."
1 Cor 1:18-19, 2:1-5