Evangelisation - not a four (teen) letter word!

When we hear the word evangelisation alarm bells can ring in our head. Some of the common reactions can be:

• I don’t like bible-bashing.
• We can’t impose our beliefs on someone else.
• That sounds embarrassing!
• I wouldn’t know where to start.
• I am glad that it’s not my job.

These reactions stem from a misunderstanding of what evangelisation is and from bad experiences.

This lack of understanding is a common problem. That is why Pope Paul VI wrote in 1975 about the importance of getting the whole picture for evangelisation:

Any partial and fragmentary definition (of evangelisation) which attempts to render the reality of evangelisation in all its richness, complexity and dynamism does so only at the risk of impoverishing it and even distorting it. It is impossible to grasp the concept of evangelisation unless one tries to keep in view all its essential elements. (Evangelii nuntiandi, 17)

So, evangelisation is complex, dynamic and rich. It has many elements or facets; each one important for the whole but they must be viewed as a whole. If we only focus on one aspect of evangelisation then our understanding can be impoverished and our practice of evangelisation could actually be more off-putting than attractive.

To find out more about what evangelisation is, click here.