The other day our commenter Ann linked to an article. Here’s her comment:
I found it to be a very good article, too good to remain buried in a comment stream, so here it is, albeit excerpted.
I do not think that the New Evangelization is just about what we say as Christians, nor about what new technologies we use to proclaim the Good News but also about how and the manner by which we proclaim, “Jesus is Lord!”
When it comes to the work of apologetics or promoting/debating the faith or current issues or even just day-to-day encounters for that matter, I must admit that I have never been one for witty, “in the moment” comebacks. I think that this is due, partly, to the fact that my parents taught me from an early age not to regard a snarky attitude, in and of itself, as a sure sign of intelligence and also because I do not think that an exchange of one-upmanship in comments leads anywhere truly productive. Such an exchange tends to produce more heat in friction than light to illuminate, I believe.
I share this because there can be a tendency to view apologetics and the new evangelization solely in terms of formulating the wittiest comeback line that will effectively put the other in his or her place while affording a sense of superiority to the crafter of said comment. But in the entire gospel story I never find Jesus doing this. Our Lord certainly had truth to speak, he knew how to challenge and his wit is demonstrated time and again throughout the gospels but his words never belittled the other nor did they divide and hurt.
That is something that, in my experience, we all do, we tend to get all competitive, and try for the best one-liners. Well, we all know that isn’t what Jesus did, likely because it didn’t work then, and doesn’t now.
What I’m going to do here is simply give you a list of what Fr. Michael talks about here, you can read what he says about each of them in his article, which is linked in Ann’s comment and below as well.
Willingness to listen and be present to people
Willingness to not manipulate or control
Trust in God and others
An attitude of joy
via HOW JESUS EVANGELIZED, and yes, I really do think you should read the whole thing.™ Why? Because, I’ll just about guarantee that if we put aside our pride, and our learning, as Jesus did, and listen to others, we will be far more effective as evangelists, than if we play the games we have been.
There is a reason why I spent 20 years as one of the unchurched, although not unChristian, and it was the attitude of many of my co-congregationalists. In fact, I still have trouble with it, that’s one of the reasons, I value AATW so highly, here we treat each other as equals, and actually read what we each write, not just go down our road, whether anybody follows or not. Well, mostly, anyway 🙂