“After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. He said to them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest." (Luke 10: 1-2)
Evangelization. For mainline churches, this word is inevitably with horrible stories of the past. Men and women came from Europe to impose their faith and civilization to First Nations People living in the Americas. The desire to convert the inhabitant of Africa and Asia was the result of the contempt the Western world has toward the rest of the world. For many, all sorts of evangelization should be avoided at all costs. We should not repeat the mistakes of the past.
During his lifetime, Jesus walked back and forth in Galilee, Samaria and Judea to proclaim his message. He was deeply convinced that many were ready to listen to him. Because he could not be in all places at the same time, Jesus appointed some of his disciples to represent him and speak in his name.
To spread and proclaim Jesus’ good news is necessarily a shameful activity nor a sign of arrogance. We can share our convictions with others with belittling or humiliating them. We are surrounded by many individuals who do not want to belong to the institutional church, but who are still spiritual and looking to engage conversation on faith and values. Instead of trying to “convert” them, we can learn to walk to them, to meet them and to begin a dialogue that could be beneficial and fruitful for all parties.