NH: A lot of the focus of the book is also on switching paradigms from the notion of using specific circumstances such as mission trips or door-to-door evangelism to share one’s faith, and instead just sharing as you go through life. How did you come to understand this paradigm? Was it something you discerned from the Word, or in your experiences, or both?
JI: My conviction about sharing the gospel as you go through life emerges from both my study of the Bible and personal experience. In the Bible, believers shared their faith naturally and regularly. The Bible is clear that this is every believer’s responsibility. My experience as a pastoral leader also shapes this conviction. While evangelism programs are helpful, they are most helpful when combined with Christians who share their faith in daily life.
NH: You spend some time talking about the biblical mandate to prayer for the gospel, and how God promises to answer our prayers that He instructs us to pray. Why do you think so many believers tend to focus more on works in evangelism and prayer can take a back seat? Do you have any ideas on how can we overcome that mentality?
JI: Prayer lags behind evangelism because we forget the spiritual foundation for evangelistic success. We tend to think our success depends on our glibness or speaking abilities. It’s really more dependent on God’s power to change someone. We need to speak the gospel, but only in the context of speaking to God about people who need the gospel.
NH: What do you think is the greatest mental or emotional block that people have that stops them from sharing their faith more?
JI: The greatest impediment to sharing our faith is fear. We are afraid of being unpopular, of being rejected, or of being put on the spot to answer a question we can’t handle. We are afraid of conflict, confrontation, and asking people to change. We can overcome these fears by simply speaking the gospel, in love, and allowing people freedom to process their decision. We can also overcome fear by gaining experience in sharing the gospel. The more you share the gospel, the easier it becomes.
NH: You list several concrete means of presenting the gospel effectively. What do you think is the primary reason that people are sometimes ineffective in their attempts to share the gospel?
JI: The biggest reason for ineffectiveness is silence. When you share the gospel, even haltingly, God works through the gospel to impact the other person. Don’t underestimate the power of a sincere, simple presentation of the gospel.
NH: You’ve just released a book! What’s next for your ministry in 2014?
JI: In 2014, my main goal is to maintain my personal ministry among young men – sharing the gospel and making disciples – as well as provide good leadership to the seminary. We are relocating our primary campus so that is keeping me busy!