This is an excellent post. I think it’s true that many of the converts are coming from some kind of established Christian fatih.
I think that if your point is that we as a group of ‘evangelists’ need to get better at evangelizing, I would have to agree.
I love our evangelical brethren. We can learn so much from them. They really emphasize a personal relationship with God; and that’s not to say that we don’t, it’s just that we take it for granted that that’s how everything works. I think because we don’t make a big deal about it, many outside our Church assume that it’s not critical to Catholicism.
They are also very passionate about praise and worship and looking for God in everyday aspects of their lives. My in-laws are Pentecostal pastors (both of them) and I have a great respect for their faith; it is very real to them and I learned to feel great about being a Christian from them.
When these types of people learn what we really believe, and how it is in fact biblical (that is sound in terms of biblical ideas, not necessarily spelled out explicitly in a particular chapter or verse), they can often fall madly in love with Rome. It can take everything they felt and give it an authenticity (historical especially) that was lacking. Read the posts from some of the converts on here, they often say that converting was the best thing they ever did.
I think that because a full understanding of Christianity with 2000 years of growth (and I mean legitimate growth, not distortion, apostacy or any other such idea) is not something you can grasp if you have never had faith in Jesus at all. Hence, faith systems that offer a much simpler approach to first getting to know God and how we fit into His plan are easier for ‘newbies’ to digest. Once they do, they are often ready to really accept all of what Christ started 2000 years ago (the Church is a lot more now than it was then**).
** This is where I want to start a new thread about how so often people want a Church that looks exactly like a first century Church. The reality is, there isn’t one, and I don’t think there should be. The Catholic Church was started 2000 years ago by Jesus and his apostles, if it still existed today looking exactly the same, it would have been a disastrous failure. It was meant to grow and develop, and yes understand better the nature of our Triune God (see, there’s a development right there, the definition of the Trinity), how Grace is dispensed, what we are to do with it, how we become receptive to it, how each person in the whole family relates to each other, and how the whole Body of Christ relates to the rest of creation. But as I said that’s another thread.