My friend and I go to the local public places to do some street evangelization for a few hours every week. Is it better to give out tracts to as many people as possible or talk to only a few people in more depth?

 

Photo by Chris YarzubWith the knowledge that eternity, salvation, and true happiness, is what is on the line, of course we want to reach as many people as possible with the information we have.  We want to share the truth with all of those passing by, and there are always the questions of ‘what if’ such as, ‘what if I only talk to a few people and miss the one or two people that actually would have read the booklet or listened to a CD.  These thoughts are not bad thoughts and this desire to share what you have with as many people as possible is truly a good thing.

When doing street evangelization or any kind of public preaching there must be a great deal of trust in the Holy Spirit and the grace of God. You may never know the full impact of those few hours until we see God face to face. Think of it as casting the seed (the Word of God) around and some may land in good soil (sound familiar, Lk 8:1-15). The resources you hand out might be opened at a later time and have an impact. Or your simple presence may cause conversations among friends about what they believe about religion. Or your presence may strike the heart of someone who has been away from Church and inspire them to go back.

However, keep in mind that when it comes to evangelization many times it is the relational evangelization that is most effective.  While spending a few extra minutes talking to someone you come across in the public may not constitute a deep relationship with him or her, we should never underestimate the impact a real conversation may have.  When we ask follow up questions to what a person is saying instead of brushing it off or when we look them in the eyes and speak to them instead of simply handing them something we are communicating a true interest in the person instead of interest in numbers. Ask them their name so that you can add it to your prayer list and pray for them every day.

We have to relay to each person that our desire is to have him or her come to Mass or ask questions about Christ that we want him or her to know the truth and we want him or her to feel loved.  When we speak with people in depth we open the door to more of a relationship with that person to where they may be more open to considering what we have to say because we have shown a true interest in him or her specifically.  Each person wants to feel special and wants to feel wanted and by speaking to people in more depth it may be easier to show them that our focus really is on getting him or her in line with the truth.

Good luck. Please let us know how it goes.

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