I'm not a person who is easily bedeviled by stage fright. Most often, the opposite is true—I don't know when to keep my mouth shut and so I blather on, winging random and frequent opinions about anything and everything to anyone and everyone who might be nearby. Still, I do recall one particular time when stage fright seized me. I could feel my heart race, my muscles tense, and sweat begin to pool in my armpits while I was speaking to a group of people.
It started out innocently enough. At the time, I was working as an advertising copywriter for a luxury travel company. I found many good people there, but not many religious ones. It didn't take long for everyone to discover that I was a Christian…with opinions. At any rate, my desk was situated right next to the break room. One day, around Easter, a group of about a half dozen folks came in to eat lunch together. They started chatting about the holiday and soon came upon the topic of the Jewish Passover. Since none of them was Jewish, and since they knew I was "religious," they called me over and asked me to tell them what I knew about that Hebrew celebration.
I didn't think much of it. I knew these people and called many of them my friends. So I walked over and started sharing a few basic facts about the Passover. As I was talking, I also included some of my thoughts on how elements of the Passover feast symbolized the promise of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection. It was no big deal, a natural part of the conversation. They asked some questions; I answered as best I could. Then all of a sudden—almost midsentence—it hit me: I wasn't simply chatting with these people. I was actually Sharing The Gospel with them—or "witnessing," or "evangelizing," or whatever the kids are calling it these days.1