Question: "How can I evangelize my friends and family without pushing them away?"
Answer: At some point, every Christian has had a family member, a friend, co-worker, or acquaintance who is not a Christian. Sharing the gospel with others can be difficult, and it can become even more difficult when it involves someone with whom we have close emotional ties. The Bible tells us that some people will be offended at the gospel (Luke 12:51–53). However, we are commanded to share the gospel, and there is no excuse for not doing so (Matthew 28:19–20; Acts 1:8; 1 Peter 3:15).
So, how can we evangelize our family members, friends, co-workers, and acquaintances? The most important thing we can do is pray for them. Pray that God would change their hearts, and open their eyes to the truth of the gospel (2 Corinthians 4:4). Pray that God would convince them of His love for them and their need for salvation through Jesus Christ (John 3:16). Pray for wisdom as to how to best minister to them (James 1:5).
We must be willing and bold in our actual sharing of the gospel. Proclaim the message of salvation through Jesus Christ to your friends and family (Romans 10:9–10). Always be prepared to speak of your faith (1 Peter 3:15), doing so with gentleness and respect. There is no substitute for personally sharing the gospel: “Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ” (Romans 10:17).
In addition to praying and sharing our faith, we must also live godly Christian lives in front of our friends and family members so they can see the change God has made in us (1 Peter 3:1–2). Ultimately, we must leave the salvation of our loved ones up to God. It is God’s power and grace that saves people, not our efforts. The best we can do is pray for them, witness to them, and live the Christian life in front of them. It is God who gives the increase (1 Corinthians 3:6).
Courtesy of the North American Mission Board, SBC 2018.