I grew up in a small town in Oklahoma. Everyone I grew up with believed in God or claimed to be Christian. There were a few who were apathetic, but I never witnessed any hostility to religion or any faith. Everyone was generally accepting of another’s faith, and it was a part of everyday conversation in our schools and in people’s homes. It wasn’t until I was older and went to college that I began to see another reality. I began to see how there are many people out there who are not only apathetic but actually hate Christianity and God’s people. After moving and traveling to several places over the years, I continue to see how different communities react to Christianity.

Depending on your community, you may find it difficult to light your fire in evangelism. I can relate to that. We live in Colorado, and generally, people in the area we live in are not interested in God, the Bible, or the church. There have been countless times that we have worked to make connections, offer studies, knocked on doors, and used advertisements online to spread the word in our community, and countless times we have been rejected and sometimes even mocked. It just isn’t the culture of our community. Generally, people move to the mountains to get away from religion, and many claim that nature is their god. This may be your experience as well, and I want you to know you’re not alone in these efforts.

In all of the cities Paul went to, few were willing to hear him while the rest ran him out of town. I think many of us today can relate to that. At first, this can sound disheartening, but I want to flip that thought and help us to be encouraged. While it may seem like only a few, there are people who are willing to hear. Some people are searching for the light in this dark world.

No matter the community or the culture, don’t let the darkness put your fire out. Like I sing with my babies, “won’t let Satan blow it out, I’m gonna let it shine!” Hopefully, these few tips can help you stay encouraged in a tough community.

Remember who is causing the rejection.

Mark 4:15 — “These are the ones who are beside the road where the word is sown; and when they hear, immediately Satan comes and takes away the word which has been sown in them.” 

This parable helps keep things in perspective for me when I am looking back on conversations I’ve had with people, and they outright reject anything about God. It breaks my heart to know that the source is Satan. It breaks my heart that someone has fallen prey to the enemy without realizing it. But I can take courage knowing that I have sown the seed and it wasn’t my fault if it was rejected.


Colossians 4:2-6 “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving; praying at the same time for us as well, that God will open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ, for which I have also been imprisoned; that I may make it clear in the way I ought to speak. Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.”

When faced with a world full of darkness, it can feel easy to give up trying. It can feel easy to think no one even cares. Even in our communities, we might think no one left would hear the Word. But I challenge you to pray. Continue to pray in the face of that darkness. Pray for the souls you come in contact with every day. Pray for God to open doors for you to share the Word with someone. Don’t write someone off because of the community you’ve been planted in. You never know who might be searching.

Focus on the ones who are willing to listen

Acts 17:32-34 “Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some began to sneer, but others said, “We shall hear you again concerning this.” So Paul went out of their midst. But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them.”

Not everyone will listen, and many may sneer like they did at Paul in Acts 17. However, there will be others who are willing to listen and will believe. These are the ones we need to cling to. These are the ones we need to look for. If you spend your time trying to convert people who aren’t interested in being converted, you will be let down and discouraged every time. But if you spend your efforts with the ones willing to hear you, you will see more fruit being produced and more encouragement in your tank because of it. Paul spent time with those who were willing to listen to his preaching again. We would be wise to spend our efforts on those people as well.

Shake the dust off of your feet

Acts 13:49–52 “And the word of the Lord was being spread through the whole region. But the Jews incited the devout women of prominence and the leading men of the city, and instigated a persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their district. But they shook off the dust of their feet in protest against them and went to Iconium. And the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.”

This phrase, “Shake the dust off of your feet,” carries the idea of moving on. When you run into people who reject, mock, and refuse to listen to the gospel message, it will be disappointing. There’s no way around that part. If you spend your time dwelling on those disappointing moments, you will hit a wall and eventually want to give up. That is why Jesus told His disciples to “shake the dust off of their feet.” Jesus understood the necessity of moving on from those discouraging moments, and so should we. Don’t dwell on the problematic part of evangelism; shake the dust off your feet and look forward to the next person to share the gospel with.

Katy Ballance
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Katy Ballance is a stay-at-home mom to two little girls, Lucy James and Emily Kate. She and her husband Kolton live in Denver, Colorado, where he serves as the Director of Alumni Relations at the Bear Valley Bible Institute and a minister at the Conifer church of Christ. She earned her Bachelor of Biblical Studies from the Bear Valley Bible Institute in 2021 and her bachelor’s degree in mass communications from East Central University in 2018. Katy loves coffee dates with her husband, photography, and everything about being a mama.