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Evangelization: Practice What You Preach

Evangelization: Practice What You Preach

By:  Mission Team June 9, 2021
#AmazingNation, #Faith, #How-To, #Leadership, #love

When you think of evangelization, you probably imagine someone on the street holding some poor audience of bystander’s hostage, while he talks about how they are all sinners and must turn to Jesus Christ if they have any common sense about them. Okay, I’ll be honest, that is what comes into my head. You may think something similar.

But what if we are looking at it wrong? While that previous scenario can be considered a FORM of evangelization, what if there were more effective ways? Ways that involve no speaking at all and simply making a statement.

“Preach the gospel always. Use words when necessary.” ~St. Francis of Assisi

I agree with St. Francis. The core of any evangelization should be the example set by the person preaching. So often in my life, it is not the words of a person that change me but rather the way they handle different events of their life.

A prime example of this can be found in the life of Pope Saint John Paul II. By the time he was 24 years old, he had lost his entire family. He was living under communist rule and forced to work in a salt mine for four years. Despite all of this he remained a beacon of faith for many. He embraced the death of his family, turning ever more to God through hours of prayer.

Workers in the salt mine would notice him pause at several points throughout the day to kneel down and worship the Lord. Perhaps most notable was his voluntary uptake of a co-workers shift, who had just had a baby. For 4 months, the future pope worked 16 hours a day, 7 days a week, in order that a father might be home with his newborn child. John Paul II was a physical manifestation of Christ’s love shown to all he worked with.

While not as extreme as the example of Pope John Paul II, there have been times in my life where my actions had been evangelizing more than my words could ever do. I will never forget one night when I was with my roommate. We got talking and I could hear the sadness and despair in their voice caused by the unfulfilling pursuit of happiness in the world.

They revealed to me that they saw me as a “healthy” person. They were encouraged by my example of taking care of myself, of listening to people, of going to pray, and of being around uplifting friends. Conversion did not happen on the spot, but the seeds of my actions had grown to the point where my roommate was at least willing to talk about their struggles and question what it was that I had that they did not.

There is a saying that goes: “practice what you preach”. What if instead we: “preached by what we practiced”? How much more willing would people be to listen to someone who they have seen strive to live out Christ’s gospel of love? How many more people would you be able to affect by living your day-to-day life rooted in virtue?

Perhaps the best way to evangelize is to work on ourselves, so that our example might be that much stronger. As Father Jaques Philippe says “…the conversion we should be worried about is not our neighbors, but ourselves… We have little real influence on other people, and our attempts to change them have only a very slight chance of success.” Evangelize through your example. Evangelize through your growth in Christ.

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About the Author Mission TeamThe mission team is made up of writers within the HN team who serve for a time with our ministry to Awaken the World to the Power of God's Love. Through their efforts, their vision of making a world where no one suffers alone is an encouragement to many hurting people of all ages. 


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