When to evangelize?

Matthew 10:33 “But whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father.”
When are we suppose to acknowledge Jesus before man and when are we suppose to be humble and silent/secret? When are we suppose to evangelize (with words) and when are we not to?

Good questions.

We should always be ready to evangelize, but we should always know when the field is ripe for evangelization. We can always evangelize by the example of our actions. Remember what the pagans used to say about the Christians? “See how these Christians love one another.” That must have been a major thrust in evangelizing the ancient world.

Evangelizing by word is generally less effective unless you are talking to someone who is ready to receive the Spirit. This requires a gift of insight. I do believe, though, that many evangelizers could have done more than they did if they had been more forward about their evangelizing. Too many of them wait for the easy pickings. The less easy picking are probably a good deal more numerous. Catholic Answers is a place where you will find both kinds of evangelization possible. But even the difficult people who enter this forum can, in time, have their sensibilities sharpened and refined to receive the Spirit and be moved to accept Christ.

When we are inspired by the love of our Lord to say something we believe will help them open their heart to the Holy Spirit. Or if we belief nothing we could say at the moment would help, just be still for their sake.

Always. The Bible also says “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” (Romans 10:14). We should also live great Christian lives, but it is a false dichotomy (and usually a cop out) to pit evangelizing through words against evangelizing through living a holy life. We can, should, and must do both. Even St Francis (who is frequently misquoted as having said to only use words in Evangelization when necessary) preached all the time about Christ and the Church. That, of course, doesn’t mean pounding people over the bead with the Catechism or with Bible quotes, but it also means we have to do a lot more than be nice people if we expect to save souls from Hell.

There is no time to evangelize.
It will become more important with the New Evangelization.


I would always be open to helping someone understand or answer questions. But I don’t force anything on anyone. If the Holy Spirit prompt them to ask or inquire, we need to be prepared, ready, and armed with the truth of our faith.
That’s why personal study is so critical. You never know when the Lord will place it upon you to speak the truth in kindness and gentleness.
You life, your actions, your goodness can inspire people and bring them to God as well.

Not at work, not when a person is cornered in any way, not when the person indicates they are unwilling to listen or have a conversation concerning religious beliefs.

I reported a coworker a few years ago for repeatedly starting religious discussions and debates with other employees.

It creates a hostile work environment as well as taking time away from the employer.

He was cornering Christians, but I have likewise seen it in the other direction.

Doesn’t matter what the faith is, it’s not appropriate.

always, if not directly with words, do it with actions, if its not about God directly, do it about justice and goodness.

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