Who is called to evangelise?

If we are entirely honest with ourselves we probably think that it is the job of priests and religious to evangelise or at least people who have a particular skill or calling to do it. “...Not me, though. I wouldn’t know what to say and I don’t know enough.” With words like these we leave it to others.

The trouble is that this leaves the job of evangelisation to about 1% of the Church. And if 99% of the Church aren’t evangelising then we probably have a problem!

Pope Paul VI was very clear about the importance of evangelisation. In Evangelii nuntiandi he wrote:

Evangelising is in fact the grace and vocation proper to the Church, her deepest identity. She exists in order to evangelise.

It couldn’t be clearer. The Church exists in order to evangelise. That means that if you are a member of the Church, then you are called to evangelise.

The Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) highlighted the important role of the laity in the Church. Some of the key points that the Council stated are that:

• The laity shares in the mission of the Church. (Apostolicam actuositatem, The Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity, 2)

• The laity is called to holiness just as religious and clergy are. (Lumen gentium, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, 32)

• The laity’s holiness of life and sharing of the faith “takes on a specific quality and a special force in that it is carried out in the ordinary surroundings of the world” (Lumen gentium, 35)

Here’s a turn for the books! These quotations state that it is precisely because we are lay people, and involved in the ordinary surroundings of the world, that we are called to evangelise.

But how do we evangelise? To find out more, visit the page 'How Do I Evangelise'.