What's that then?
If most Catholics are honest, "evangelisation" isn't a word that features prominently in their vocabulary. Most of us, were born into the Church, and so have n ever experienced a conversion as did the likes of St.Paul and modern day converts like broadcaster, Malcolm Muggeridge. But evangelisation is a word and a reality that Jesus himself has called each of to make our own. You and I are called to evangelise, and that doesn't necessarily mean standing on a soap box Bible bashing.
You and I are called to so be so on fire with God's love that it becomes impossible for us to keep it to ourselves. There's an inner flame inside each one of us - the Holy Spirit - which is bursting to get busy doing God's work; bringing others into His wonderful light. It's incredibly exciting. You are invited to be a part of this amazing adventure. Put your seatbelts on, we're about to take a ride!
Evangelisation is not:
- About cramming the Bible down people's throat.
- About always using words.
- About forcing people to be baptised.
- About never mentioning the name of Jesus.
- Is never detached from a life of prayer.
- Solely about social work.
- About sharing our own interpretation of what the Good News is.
- An option for the baptised.
- My duty and joy to do as a baptised Catholic.
- Something Jesus commissioned all his followers to do.
- About love and service.
- Demands courage on the part of the evangeliser.
- Is never done alone. The Holy Spirit is always there to help you. Even Jesus sent his disciples out two by two.
Evangelisation by definition is:
- Diverse and complex. For some it means they are called to preach, others it translates into feeding the homeless. Meanwhile for others it's about having the courage to wear a crucifix in a hostile environment. The "E" word has many faces but whatever the method, it concerns "the proclaiming of Christ to those who do not know Him". (Evangelium Nuntiandi, para. 17).
- Results in renewal. Sharing of the Good News can lead to Baptism. Baptism gives an individual a new identity in Christ. In turn, these transformed baptised individuals play a part in transforming the world around them, so that the Good News has a renewing influence on every aspect of modern life.
- Makes waves. Evangelisation means we are called to make waves. The Gospel message can at times upset the status quo and those with who we live and work.
- Affects culture. The Gospel values need to be proclaimed within and through culture. Culture is the means through which people can encounter Christ. With that in mind entire cultures need to be re-generated in Christ.
- Involves witness of life. Evangelisation takes flesh in the witness of daily life. This form of evangelisation affects every baptised person.
- Involves explicit proclamation. Evangelisation involves explicit proclamation of Jesus Christ and his Kingdom
- Demands a response. Evangelisation demands a concrete response from the recipient leading to entry into the Church.
- Creates new evangelisers. Someone truly evangelised in turn evangelises others. This is the authentic test of conversion.