A dear friend who had been an overseas missionary sent me a personal prayer request. He wanted prayer for boldness—to witness to the people at his new job. Of course, I’m happy to pray for him, but if you are like my friend and you want boldness, let me tell you something about how to get it.

The boldness that was so evident in the early Jews for Jesus movement was born out of the sense that we had nothing to lose. We began as a volunteer movement with no reputation, no supporters and no particular friends—except each other.

Sometimes, the values of this present world creep into evangelism and we confuse evangelism with salesmanship. A salesman needs to be articulate, highly credible and most of all, he has to be likable and engaging. A salesman has to be the kind of person who, in a casual encounter, makes you feel that you don’t want to disappoint him.

Don’t confuse salesmanship with evangelism. The prophets weren’t especially likable, nor were the apostles always articulate—they were simply witnesses. When you look at Calvary—Jesus’ Calvary and yours, where you had an eternal transaction—you need to know that you not only left behind all of your sins, but also all of your worldly aspirations and ambitions. The Apostle Paul said that he counted … all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ” (Philippans 3:8).

If you think of yourself as leaving all status, all ambition at Calvary, then you have nothing in this world to lose. Boldness in witness comes from being of no reputation. It happens when even the slight possibility of winning a soul to Christ becomes the larger value than the esteem the world might give you.