I remember when I applied to go on Catholic Christian Outreach’s missions trip this past summer, we were asked what we thought of the word “evangelize.” It’s a scary word that I desired to stay far from. It conjures up images of men on podiums in the middle of the street harassing passersby. This past summer, as I spent many afternoons and evenings in the homes of those from our church, I realized that the act of evangelizing is given a bad rep by men on podiums.
The people in our church in Ottawa invited us in and lavished so much food upon us. One afternoon, we went to this wonderful woman Lori’s home. We sat down to a meal at 2pm and didn’t leave till 7pm. The afternoon was chalked full of brie, bread, and cold beers. We exchanged stories of how God had worked in each of our lives. The 5 hours flew by – the longest and shortest meal I have ever had.
Sitting in Lori’s living room that afternoon, I had this epiphany that the E word – to evangelize – is nothing like the definition I had come to believe.
As I sat there enjoying the company of my parish team and Lori, I realized that we were evangelizing. A housemate pointed out that day, “Jesus was always eating and drinking.” The simple act of being in others’ homes eating, drinking, and being witness to the Gospel, IS evangelizing. Breaking bread with new friends and family, whilst sharing our stories of God’s work in our life can be preaching if you desire it to be so.
What is your definition of evangelization?
All my love,