Failure to Evangelize

As a Christian, one of my jobs on Earth is to draw others to Christ. Not by conversion against their will, of course, but by whatever kind, nonviolent methods I can.

I do a poor job, and I sometimes wonder if it is because I am an introvert, and an extremely shy introvert, at that. I don’t have any kind of charisma or public speaking ability that draws people in. On bad days, I barely have the courage to do something as mundane as call up the auto maintenance guy and tell him I need my brakes checked.

But then I remember that not all the great saints were extroverts. Many of them lived hermetic lives in the wilderness and spent hours in solitary prayer. Not all of them were as fiery and passionate as St. Augustine or as willing to spend hours with so many different people as Mother Teresa.

So perhaps the ability to evangelize doesn’t have much to do with whether you are an introvert or an extrovert; it might have more to do with courage. It takes guts to stand up for what you believe, and even more courage to introduce others to your system of belief. It takes a person of strong moral character to uphold the beliefs that they have and to set a good example for others.

Non-Christians are put off by what they perceive as the “hypocrisy” of Christians. They tell non-Christians that the Bible says to do x, y, and z, and then they may do the very opposite of x, y, and z. I think that is one of the main reasons why many people are turned off by Christianity: all the hypocrites and radical evangelizers who claim that non-Christians are going straight to hell if they don’t convert.

As I’ve said many times before on this blog, we’re all hypocrites. But there is a difference between a Christian who deliberately sets out to break the moral code they profess to believe, and a Christian who messes up and makes mistakes, but continually attempts to do better.

It takes courage to admit you’ve done wrong and to begin anew. It takes courage to be an example of a good Christian. This is the type of courage that I pray I may have someday. I may never have the courage to preach like St. Paul, but God gave us each our own talents and ways of getting through to people.

7 thoughts on “Failure to Evangelize

  1. Excellent post Maggie, containing some good insights. St. Therese of Liseaux didn’t go door to door. She lived out her “Little Way”, died at the age of 24, yet has influenced millions. Courage, as you wrote, is a key.

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  2. One of the most effective ways to evangelize is through an example of a godly life lived in accordance with God’s ways. None of us are our perfect, but our efforts to do so, and our willingness to admit fault and get better, should attract notice no matter how shy or introverted we are.

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