Stealth Evangelization

“Oh, I’d love to help, but I’m so busy…”

“Bummer, we have three things going on at that time. Maybe sometime when I’m not so swamped I can help…”

“Gee, thanks for asking, but no, we can’t help right now.”

If you’ve spent any amount of time in just about any parish in the United States, you’ve no doubt heard a version of these before. Maybe, if you’re like me, you’ve even used them.

Could we get any busier? How do we reach the badly-catechized adults and families that we’re told need so much of this New Evangelizing we’re called to do? And when, exactly, are we supposed to do all of that?

I propose that it’s not so different from trying to get your kids (or me, for that matter) to eat their vegetables: stealth evangelization.

1. Live your faith.

Our most important evangelization efforts begin before we leave our homes.

What’s the most important work you think you do? Is it the care of children, the career you’ve worked so hard to achieve, the apostolate you’ve founded?

But how’s your conversation with God? How’s the most important relationship you can have?

You’re living what you believe. Is your life reflective of what you say you believe?

2. Know your faith.

You don’t have to be the next Jimmy Akin or Patrick Madrid or Scott Hahn. You don’t have to be anyone other than the you God has designed you to be. That’s perfect.

One of the most influential people on my journey to and through the Catholic Church doesn’t read a lot of books. Arguably, I “know” more than she does, but she never ceases to teach me about Catholicism in many ways.

Knowledge doesn’t just have to be logical or rational or book-centered. It can be a certainty of faith, a confidence of relationship with God, an ongoing attitude of listening and learning.

3. Share your faith.

Often, I feel like all I can do is plant seeds. When I go into Convert-the-World Mode, I’m not really doing God’s work at all: I’m doing what Sarah thinks is best for the world.

Sharing your faith can be done unconsciously: in the way you pray before meals, in the way you offer to pray for someone who’s hurting, in the way you’re present to those in need. It might be the meal you make for a new mom or the visit you pay to an elderly neighbor.

Don’t be afraid to speak up, but don’t feel like YOU have to do the work. Pray to the Holy Spirit and be open to his promptings.

So let’s get to it!

Copyright © 2013, Sarah Reinhard

Sarah Reinhard

Sarah Reinhard

Sarah Reinhard continues to be shocked and delighted that her life as a grown-up involve horses, writing, and sparkly dress shoes. In her work in the New Evangelization as a Catholic wife, mom, writer, parish employee, and catechist, she’s learned a lot of lessons, had a lot of laughs, and consumed mass amounts of coffee. She’s online at and, and is the author of a number of books.

One response to “Stealth Evangelization”

  1. Nothing makes people as curious as joy! When you talk about your Church community do so with joy about why you are so happy to be a member there. Makes people WANT to come, so invite them! DO-NOT share complaints about the senior with the big hat who always sits in front of you or that family with those umpteen wiggly, squeaky kids during Mass.

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