William Fay is a graduate of Denver Seminary, a noted author and the host of the internationally syndicated radio show “Let’s Go.” He was a successful businessman with ties to the Mafia and prostitution rings before coming to Christ in 1981. Since his radical conversion, he has traveled the world equipping believers to share their faith. That is the point of this book.
“Share Jesus Without Fear” (buy it here) describes the dismal state of church growth in America due to a lack of outreach and articulates a practical strategy for reversing this trend with intentional evangelism including specific steps, a discussion of how to deal with obstacles and ways of multiplying one’s influence.
This book begins with Fay’s encouraging testimony and the many people who witnessed to him before he came to Christ. He emphasizes the fact that success in evangelism is defined by obedience and explains how the many people that shared with him before his conversion were a part of the process that culminated with his acceptance of Christ’s gift of salvation; even though many of them never saw fruit from their labor, they were successful because they shared the good news with him. The point of this first chapter, that a person can’t fail when simply being obedient and sharing, takes the pressure off the evangelist and prepares the reader for the content that immediately follows.
The need for evangelism is described well with the alarming statistic that one hundred thousand churches will close this decade (p.6) and the reality that the lack of evangelism in America today is leading to the secularization of our society. The problem, according to Fay, is the sin of silence (p.6).
Fear is pegged as the cause of this silence concerning evangelism and the issue of fear is discussed at length. The fears of rejection, what others might think, workplace peculiarities, a lack of knowledge, losing friends or relatives and not knowing how to witness are all explained and ultimately defined as excuses rather than substantive issues. After challenging the reader to drop these excuses Fay gives a practical strategy for overcoming fear and the sin of silence.
The five “Share Jesus Questions” (p.33) which can be introduced to any conversation to transition to the gospel are: 1. Do you have any kind of spiritual beliefs? 2. To you, who is Jesus Christ? 3. Do you think there is a heaven or hell? 4. If you died, where would you go? If heaven, why? 5. If what you are believing is not true would you want to know? These questions provide an easy way for someone to bring any conversation to a spiritual one and an opportunity to introduce Christ and His offer of a gift of salvation to all that put their trust in Him.
Once the conversation has turned in a spiritual direction, seven scriptures can be shared with the hearer, inviting him to read each out loud from the sharer’s Bible. These verses are Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23, John 3:3, John 14:6, Romans 10:9-11, 2 Corinthians 5:15 and Revelation 3:20 (p.44). The hearer is asked what he thinks each verse means after finishing reading it and before continuing to the next verse. Fay challenges the reader to trust the power of scripture in hearer’s life.
Fay encourages his readers to bring every conversation to a point of decision before concluding and once again, he gives five great questions to help with this (p.61). They are: 1. Are you a sinner? 2. Do you want forgiveness of sins? 3. Do you believe Jesus died on the cross for you and rose again? 4. Are you willing to surrender your life to Jesus Christ? 5. Are you ready to invite Jesus into your life and into your heart? These questions help bring a person to a point of decision.
The rest of the book deals with following up with a new believer, dealing with common objections people often have, broadening the potential for influence by meeting new people and developing friendships with non-Christians and praying for the lost realizing God has to change their hearts. Fay concludes the book with a challenge to be obedient to Christ’s command realizing time is of the essence and every opportunity is vitally important. Readers are challenged to step out by faith, in obedience, sharing the good news and experiencing God’s joy in the process.
Fay is convincing concerning the need for evangelism, correctly describes the hinderances to it and enunciates a thorough plan for sharing Jesus without fear. The statistics and stories he shares all support his claims about the current lack of evangelism and the benefit of this strategy. His arguments about the sin of silence and the need to be obedient now are compelling and at the same time encouraging.
The seven “Share Jesus” scriptures (p.44) and Fay’s description of how to use them were a fresh approach to evangelism. The Bible is powerful and God’s Word changes lives. Fay challenges evangelists to trust God’s Word to work in a lost person’s life. It is encouraging to see this method of trusting the power of God’s Word in the evangelistic process by inviting the hearer to read these scriptures out loud. This approach is a welcome contrast to the lack of Biblical truth in many evangelistic approaches and strategies which seem to be more concerned with being liked by the non-believer than bringing that person to a life and eternity changing realization of the truth.
Fay’s radical conversion seems to influence every aspect of his thinking. Having been saved from a very sinful past he seems confident of Christ’s ability to reach anyone, anywhere with the gospel. So many Christians today seem biased towards failure and this bias of belief makes this book very encouraging.
Share Jesus without Fear lives up to its title by giving readers a valid perspective on the current situation in America, hope about how God will move if Christians will simply obey and practical ideas that make that possible. The transition questions given make getting into spiritual conversations and sharing the gospel simple in any conversational setting. The major barriers to evangelism, fear and a lack of knowledge about how to witness are handily dispatched in this concise and informative book. The practical notes listed in Appendix 2 (p.151) on how to include the main points of this strategy in the cover and margins of a Bible for quick and easy use make the plan easily applicable. Overall, this book seems to hit the nail on the head in many different and important ways.
There seems to be one significant omission, however. As good as the Share Jesus without Fear method seems to be, there is a lack of transferability. Fay’s emphasis on follow-up and discipleship is vitally important and the issues he covers, assurance of salvation, scripture, prayer, fellowship, etc (p.78), are all important. Helping the new believer learn to share her faith is equally valid. Statistics show new converts are often some of the most effective evangelists. It is important to help young Christians learn to share their faith right from the start so they can make the most of their non-Christian spheres of influence and develop good perspectives on evangelism before they catch the unbelief of Christians they’ll soon meet. That being said, a good evangelistic approach should always be simple enough to reproduce without barriers of complication. The Share Jesus without Fear method seems to get very close to the more complicated, less reproducible side of the equation. Once again, the notes in Appendix 2 (p.151) are helpful but still, it seems like this is a bit much to ask a new believer to do. The one exception might be someone who came to Christ through this method; obviously having seen it first hand they might be much quicker to be able to reproduce it as well. A simpler tool, like the Four Spiritual Laws would probably be a more transferable tool, which in the long run, would create more momentum and multiplication in evangelism. The Share Jesus without Fear way of witnessing is useful in so many ways and the transferability issue seems to be its only drawback.
This book has wide appeal and would be helpful for Christians in all walks of life since all believers are called to share their faith and most struggle with fear and a lack of knowledge about how to witness. Anyone who wants to obey Christ’s command to make disciples of all nations by being effective in reaching the lost will benefit from this book. The ideas included will make a lifestyle of evangelism attainable for anyone with a willingness to follow Christ in this area.
The Share Jesus without Fear strategy can be implemented in any ministry if leaders will train people in this method and help them take a few first steps of application. Effective ministry requires multiple evangelistic methods and this one can be added to any ministry’s repertoire of evangelistic resources. An individual can make this a natural way of making the most of any and every opportunity by simply following the instructions in Appendix 2 (p.151) and being willing to start the process by asking the first Share Jesus question, “do you have any spiritual beliefs?” A commitment to transitioning conversations to the gospel will inevitably lead to a lifetime of effective evangelism.
Transitioning conversations to spiritual topics, the gospel and a point of decision is an imperative aspect of all evangelistic approaches. The Share Jesus without Fear questions, scripture and method provide a standardized way of accomplishing that. This easily applicable approach is a significant contribution to personal evangelism and a simple way of helping believers reach their spheres of influence for Christ. If believers will make a habit of applying these steps, being obedient to Christ’s call and saying no to the sin of silence the negative societal trends Fay mentioned in the beginning of this book will be reversed and personal evangelism will transition from the domain of fearful confusion into that of joyful obedience.
“Share Jesus Without Fear” describes a practical way of reversing the modern trend of declining church growth and individual disobedience to the call to evangelism in America by equipping believers with a simple and practical evangelism strategy and helping them overcome hinderances to witnessing in order to fulfill Christ’s Great Commission here and now.