"Whenever anyone asks you to speak of your hope, be ready to defend it." (1 Peter 3:15b).
Most Christians want to share their faith with others. But not everyone feels comfortable and confident with the calling to share Christ with others. They struggle with finding words that will invites others to follow Jesus that are natural and respectful. There are two separate tasks involved in witnessing to Christ. The first is evangelism, and the second is apologetics. Evangelism is the act of sharing the gospel. Apologetics (a term you may not have heard) is a theological discipline that seeks to defend (but not "apologize" for) and commend the Christian faith.
"A rough working definition of evangelism might be 'inviting someone to become a Christian.' Apologetics could then be thought of as clearing the ground for that invitation so that it is more likely to receive a positive response." Apologetics might involve explaining to others why you believe in Jesus as Savior, answering questions people might have about Christ and the church, or examining doubts about faith.
When we are asked about our "hope" (our assurance of salvation in Christ), First Peter says that we should be ready to defend it. We are to actively seek answers that address the questions people around us are asking, and to respond in thoughtful, reasonable ways.
You may feel ill-equipped to witness to others. But let me encourage you. All of us have a faith journey and lesson to share with others. Be kind to others and respectful of others, but also be prepared to talk of the difference Christ has made in your life and why you believe.
Prayer: Jesus, my hope rests in you. Equip me to answer questions and speak of my faith in a reasonable manner, so that your truth may be known and experienced. Help me to overcome any fears I might have and give me strength and understanding. In your holy name. Amen.