Episcopal Evangelism Newsletter, July 2022
This month we continue exploring our Episcopal Evangelism challenge for 2022: Creating authentic communities of friends within our churches to live out our baptismal promises and the church’s mission—to restore and be restored in unity with God and each other, in Christ. Our guest Evangelism Catalyst this month is Rachel Jones, who writes about sharing the gift of Good News with those closest to us.
If I have achieved anything in my life, it is because
I have not been embarrassed to talk about God.”
— Dorothy Day
“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others…” (I Peter 4:10)
One of my favorite things to talk about with our Embracing Evangelism facilitators is what it means to be evangelists in our daily lives. A marvelous way to start practicing daily evangelism with our friends and coworkers is by becoming a spiritual cheerleader/hype person. Why? Because beginning to learn how to preach the Good News of Jesus’ love often looks like providing encouragement to the folks around us.
We all understand the phrase, “If you see something, say something,” in the context of reporting scary things. But what if we flipped that script? What if, when we see people around us doing hard work, sharing, or loving well, being kind, being a good team player, being brave, showing or needing mercy—what if when we saw that, we said something right then? What if we named those words, those actions, as Good News – out loud?
Sure, we might feel awkward, but my sister-friend Jerusalem reminds me that sometimes we will need to feel awkward for the sake of the gospel. Telling someone that you see the Good News or peace or healing of Jesus in the way they live their lives in the world is a powerful way to remind someone of their belovedness. It is wonderful to remind them that their hard work is not going unnoticed.
The more we practice this way of seeing Jesus and proclaiming his presence in love, the better we get at finding him and sharing his Good News with the world. By telling those we love and are around the most how we see Jesus’ presence in their words, actions, and attitudes, we grow more comfortable in speaking that Good News out loud. It helps us get over our nervousness and reinforces how special and holy our closest relationships can be. It’s also a massive, zero-cost gift of love and inclusion to give our friends and family this type of encouragement.
You don’t have to preach a sermon or say anything eloquent or fancy. You might only say one word. Or you might get excited and gush over a beloved like a super-fan at a comic book convention. Both are okay. The important thing is to begin, to proclaim love and belovedness in all the places you go, starting right where you are.
If you’re curious about a real-world application for what this practice looks like, I encourage you to watch this video of Senator Cory Booker speaking to now-Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson.
Hang in there. You’re doing great!
With prayers for peace and joy,