Evangelization… Dang that can sound intimidating… It is so easy to think that evangelization is only for the “professionals” or for the ones who have the “right” personality. That is totally untrue! Each and every baptized Christian is given the command to evangelize. It isn’t too hard to realize that the world needs Jesus, but how do you actually go about making disciples? Discipleship is about imitation of Jesus in everything. This includes evangelization. How did Jesus evangelize? What was his strategy?
One thing is pretty clear on how Jesus evangelized… He went out! He didn’t wait for people to come to him. He didn’t say, “Hey, I’m preaching at the synagogue this weekend. You should come see me.” No! Jesus entered into the lives of those whom he was evangelizing. He frequently went to the home of known sinners and encountered them where they were in their daily lives. The way that Jesus evangelized was extremely relational. Jesus KNEW the people that he was evangelizing. When he asked Zacchaeus to come down from the tree, he called him by his name. Jesus knew Zacchaeus, and he was inviting him away from his sin and into his abundant life.
The most effective evangelization cannot be done at an arm's distance away. You have to get up close and personal. St. Paul said in 1 Thes. 2:8, “Being so affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.” There can’t be a disconnect between authentic love and evangelization. If you want to evangelize, you have to love. The deepest kind of love is to bring those you love to the source of all love, which is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Who are two people in your life that look up to you? Start praying that they may experience Christ’s love. Invite them into your life whether that is for a meal, to your kid’s soccer game, or to church with your family. Share with them your own journey of faith. Ask them questions about their hopes and dreams, and don’t be afraid to ask them those big questions! So many people are looking for someone to walk with them in faith. You can be that person, and you don’t have to have it all figured out beforehand.
The world needs Jesus! And you really and truly can be a catalyst of God’s love. Let’s go make disciples!!!