Childhood Memories Friday: Witnessing Anxiety

Growing up Baptist, witnessing/visitation/sharing my faith was always a part of my psyche. Unfortunately, I appear to have a case of witnessing anxiety.

I remember once during elementary school, our Sunday School teacher took some of us girls on “visitation” to go see attendees who hadn’t … attended class recently. I still remember the angst of standing on Trina’s front steps, hoping she wouldn’t come to the door. Hi! We all miss you at Sunday School! just seemed a bit awkward, both for Trina and for us. Honestly, I can’t remember whether or not we found any truant students at home or not, but I remember that we went to the Dairy Queen afterward where I bought a sundae for .50, but didn’t have the few extra pennies for tax. The employee wrote my name down along with the amount owed 🙁

In college, I was briefly a member of Campus Crusade for Christ. One wildly enthusiastic girl took me into her group, christening herself my “mom in the Lord.” I had known the Lord much longer than I’d known Vicki, but I let her keep me as a jewel in her crown if it made her feel good.

CCC’s  method of evangelism was pretty in-your-face for my tastes, especially when I made a trip with the group to Florida for Spring Break. We were to head out to the beaches daily and interact with the largely drunken and scantily clad masses of college kids there, asking them deep questions like If you were to die tonight, do you know where you’d go?

For a quiet, rather introverted person like me, this was intensely uncomfortable. And even now, I have to admit that “sharing my faith” doesn’t come easily to me. I’m knowledgeable about my faith, it’s quite meaningful to me, and yet … and yet … the topic just doesn’t come up that easily.

“Hey, did you see they posted the kids’ dance costume pictures?”

“Yeah! Umm … Lisa … I was wondering whether you had thought recently about where you’d spend eternity.”

Yeah. I think there’s a reason why the big no-no’s of discussion are politics and religion – although as a good Baptist, at least I do feel guilty over my lack of witnessing.

Then there was always the dilemma:  could you witness “with your life” (I much preferred this, but wasn’t sure it really “counted”), or did you have to put it all out there verbally and keep talking until the “victim” prayed the sinner’s prayer?

3 thoughts on “Childhood Memories Friday: Witnessing Anxiety

  1. I admire you for putting your true thoughts down for the world to ponder. I would say many are in your corner.

  2. oh this is such a dilemma for me too – I’m a born again Christian and Baptist but… I don’t know if it’s that I know all-too-well my own sinful state and feel like I’m a poor representative of Christ, or if I get frustrated with people who really are only interested in starting an argument so they can look good and I can look like an idiot and they can walk away smug in their own self-confidence but…
    I have SUCH a hard time being a verbal witness… I do try to live a life that shines… but when it comes to starting those conversations I am terrible. I long ago stopped going to visitation for just that reason – I felt like I was cornering people. Once I was stopped by a Jehovah’s Witness and told that I wasn’t going to Heaven, and I felt terrible (even though I know that I AM going to Heaven) but… it was this old lady in the parking lot that wouldn’t let me get in my car! Then I thought – gee, is this how people feel when we go door to door or hand out tracts on the beach. I guess a quick “here’s something to read” isn’t bad tho…
    Anyway, I want to be a better witness, and be available when the Spirit moves someone to seek the Lord…I just feel so totally awkward about how to go about it.
    Thanks for sharing this – now I don’t feel so totally alone and reprobate! 🙂 (I would never dare write about it so I am glad you are the brave one!)

  3. Lol….. I remember Friday nights, hiding in my room hoping [I didn’t pray much then] that THAT church wouldn’t send kids from my high school to the door. Sadly, one of my best friends decided to do that and come and say just what you mention. Set me back in seeking for, oh, 15 years! I love the Lord now with all my heart but I’d never have found Him if they’d kept it up!

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