In this Year of Faith, I have really been challenged in the mission of evangelization. I’ve found more and more people asking me about my Catholic faith.
We as humans are naturally curious. Aside from the “haters”, people are fascinated by the Catholic faith because of its supernatural uniqueness. Ya sure, some people are easily freaked out by our faith, like, “Why are all these people praying to a piece of bread?” or “You talk to dead people in Heaven to help you out with your problems?” And when you think about it, I guess it does sound a little bit bonkers.
But the fact of the matter is that there are 1 BILLION people in the world that identify themselves as Catholic. The fact of the matter is that our Church was started by Jesus. There is something that’s very different about our worldview that attracts people’s attention, whether it be in the form of scrutiny or curiosity. People notice that there is something very different about the way true, devout Catholics act and they want to know how to attain it.
So here are a couple of tips I’ve learned in the efforts of evangelization:
1. Let People Know You’re Catholic
Wear your scapulars and religious medals. Post pictures of you and your parish priest. Update your status about the great things God has been doing in your life. Tell people you’ll pray for them.
Trust me, when you let people know that you’re Catholic they’ll start to ask questions. And a lot of times, asking questions is what leads people back to the Church. I know the secular world will tell you otherwise, but there’s nothing wrong with being bold in your Catholic faith.
2. Be Different
No, I don’t mean be that one weird kid in kindergarten class who used to eat his own boogers in the corner. Be different in the way you approach life. As Pope Francis says, “A Christian can never be sad.” Let the unique being that God created you to be shine. Let the light of Christ in you attract others. Find the joy in everything you do and people will follow.
3. Bring your Catechism
I never realized what a blessing the Catechism is until people started asking me questions about the Catholic faith. A Protestant friend wants biblical evidence of the Saints intercession? It’s in the Catechism. Someone wants to know why you have your sins forgiven by a priest? It’s in the Catechism. The beautiful thing about technology nowadays is that you don’t have to physically lug around that huge Catechism around. My personal favorite Catechism app is Laudate (Find it here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/laudate-1-free-catholic-app/id499428207?mt=8). It’s a great tool to whip out when you or a friend has a question about the faith.
4. Trust the Holy Spirit
I can’t emphasize how important this one is. Luke 12:10-11 says, “When they take you before synagogues and before rulers and authorities, do not worry about how or what your defense will be or about what you are to say. For the holy Spirit will teach you at that moment what you should say.”
Don’t over think it. If someone asks you a challenging question about the Faith, don’t depend on yourself. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you the words and He will. Which leads me to my next point…
Prayer is essential to evangelization. If you’re not asking God what to do, then there’s really no point in trying to evangelize. You cannot give what you do not have. If you aren’t feeding yourself spiritually, then how do you expect to feed others?
6. Meet People Where They Are
The beautiful thing about Jesus’ ministry is that He always met people where they were in life. He meets the adulteress in the streets. He meets Peter and Andrew as they’re fishing. We too are called to do the same.
So if someone approaches you, meet them where they’re at spiritually. I know it’s very tempting to attempt to immerse all the people that you meet in the fullness of Truth that is the Catholic Church; but if you give them too much too quickly you’re probably going to freak them out. In other words, don’t shove the whole buffet down their throat if all they’re asking for is an appetizer. If your friend asks you why you believe in the infant baptism, don’t try to explain all of Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica in one go. They will most likely try to run away.
So those are my tips on evangelization. I’m by no means an expert on ecumenism or apologetics, but these are just a few tips that I find helpful.
Have any other tips you would like to share? Post in the comments!