Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Evangelization 101

This is an overview of the presentation given at the first meeting.

"God doesn't call the equipped, he equips the called." Evangelization is not about us showing off how smart and knowledgeable we are, but about allowing God to work through our actions and our words to bring Truth to the world.

While researching evangelization I found that the suggestions There are three things too remember when witnessing to the Truth...
  1. What your responsibility is...and is NOT.
  2. What the most important and useful answer is.
What is Your Responsibility?
Lord, grant me the grace to accept the things that I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.
This prayer is receited often, but those who have been through the 12 steps know an interesting truth; there is only one thing you can change. It's not the way your wife sips her soup or husband leaves the seat up, your friends, or those obnoxious neighbors. It's not even yourself, as anyone who's struggled with an addiction can attest to.

You can only change your choice to accept God's grace at this moment or reject it.

How does this relate to evangelizing? Well, it's not about converting your spouse, your friends, or those heretics down the street. You cannot convert them, only God can touch their hearts. And it's not about you having all the right answers and being perfectly articulate and full of charism, because I can assure you, you won't be.

It's about allowing God's grace to work in your life, allowing Him to make you into the best version of yourself you can be. And by allowing this you'll allow His Grace to flow through you and to the whole world.

It's about knowing that you've found Love and wanting to let others know of this Love. Your job isn't to force them to acknowledge the truth, to accept this Love, but only to bear witness to it. It's hard when attacked, but remember when they reject you, that they rejected Him first.

The Most Important and Useful Answer in Evangelization

You've just been asked an impossible question that a seasoned theologian would start at, and Google is no where to be found. What do you do?

The best answer is "I don't know, but I can find out for you..." and then ask for their email address to pass on the answer when you do find it. Why is this not only OK, but an excellent answer?
  • It's honest - you don't actually know (and the truth will set you free...)
  • It teaches you humility (which brings you closer to God)
  • It opens up the opportunity for further communication!
All of these points (and I'm sure many others) make this a great answer. A similar reply is also good if you do know the answer, but don't feel you could reply without disembowling them because they've asked in such a nasty mean-spirited way. If you don't have the patience or meekness to answer, then saying "I'm sorry, but I don't have the ability/resources to answer that question at this time..." would work well.

More on anger management to come...

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