John 3:16: Embrace the Awkward


Telling people about Jesus is hard. 

I know it shouldn't be. I love to talk. I even love to talk about Jesus! But still, starting conversations with people I don't know is tough stuff.  Likewise, knocking on someone's door to hand them a bag of cookies and say "Happy John 3:16 Day" is hard too.

It's scary to put yourself out there like that! So in honor of being completely real and transparent, I'm going to share with you my biggest fears about witnessing and encouraging other people.

1. I'm scared of criticism  I am afraid that the people I talk to will think I'm annoying, weird or naive. The idea that people are thinking mean things about me makes me want to curl up and cry! I want people to like me. I need people to like me. Yes, I know I'm ridiculous. God has been working in my life to rid me of this irrational fear of other people's thoughts; however, it's still the first thing that pops into my head when I think "hey, I should tell that person about Jesus."  

2. I'm scared of confrontation. I'm scared that maybe one day some mean person is actually going to say the critical things they were thinking about me. It's never happened before, but it could happen. Of course, most people who don't want to hear the Gospel will just stop listening and politely brush you off, or politely tell you "they've been members of the Presbyterian church for 30 years and if you were any good kind of Christian who would know that!" Those might not have been his exact words, but you get the drift. Confrontation is uncomfortable, and I'd like to avoid it if possible.    

3. I'm scared of being rude. Sometimes I think I pick the worst times to tell people about Jesus. Everyone in our society is always going somewhere or doing something. To stop and ask them to have a meaningful conversation at such busy times just seems rude. I'm also afraid I'll talk too fast, be too bubbly, or just say the wrong thing. I'm afraid that they will be offended by my manner and timing and will close their hearts to the message. What is the social etiquette for witnessing? Is there such a thing as a "good time" or a "bad time"? I honestly don't know, so I tend to keep my mouth shut just to be on the safe side (hangs head in shame...).

4. I'm scared of awkward. This is probably what everything else boils down too. I'm scared of creating an awkward situation. Let's face it. Talking to complete strangers about Jesus is awkward. You are asking deep and personal questions and offering real and meaningful information to people you've never met before. This is one of the reasons I decided to start John 3:16 Day, as a way to break out of the awkward and create fun ways to interact with strangers.

Turns out randomly showing up at someone's place of work is awkward even if you come bearing encouraging notes and goody bags and not everyone is going to appreciate your effort, but someone will. 

If you reach out enough, eventually you'll find someone who really appreciates it, who really needs the encouragement, who really needs the Gospel. I need to start looking for those people. I need to stop worrying about social etiquette and uncomfortable situations. 

I need to embrace the awkward. 


  1. "Embrace the awkward", a though-provoking phrase. And I realize that by choosing to give in to the awkwardness and not share the Good News I'm choosing to be selfish. I'm putting my feelings ahead of someone else's eternal well-being. And that is very sobering.

    Thanks for this post today!

  2. Oh my- As much as I try to avoid the awkwardness it follows me everywhere!

    I'm EXTREMELY awkward.

    I agree with every single one of these points. It's easy to talk about Jesus with other Christians but for those that I know are unbelievers or strangers? Um, no thanks!

    Thanks for the reminder to be obedient to God's calling- no matter how awkward it may be!



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