Recently a few different people in a few different contexts have asked me questions about fear and evangelism. Unlike us, it seems the first Christians didn't really associate fear and evangelism. The words used to describe their witness are words like 'assurance' and 'boldness'. But we have the same message and same commission as them, so that means we too can evangelize with assurance and boldness, instead of fear.
The Bible makes it clear that we have no reason to fear. Most Christians are probably quite familiar with the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20. We've memorized the 'go and make disciples' bit. But have you ever noticed what Jesus says in the immediate context? Right there where He tells us to 'go and make disciples' He also gives us two great reasons not to be scared to do so.
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. (Matthew 28:18-20)
The great commission is actually sandwiched between these two great reasons: first Jesus tells us that He has all authority in heaven and on earth, then He tells us to therefore go and make disciples, and finally He reassures us of His presence with us as we go about fulfilling His Great Commission. The word therefore is important; it shows us that we cannot leave out verse 18. It is only because Jesus Christ has all authority that we could ever possibly make any disciples. It is His authority and not ours that is key. You see, we're not relying on something in us to do evangelism, we're relying on Christ alone in His authority. Then the promise in verse 20 reminds us that we're not alone as we tell others the Gospel: Christ is with us, working through our weak words. It's Christ's authority and Christ's presence that make evangelism possible and effective. We have nothing to fear, because it's not about us at all, it's all about Jesus.