The New Evangelization and You: Be Not Afraid is a timely book written by the co-founder of the Rosary Army and The New Evangelizers, Greg Willits. In the book Greg gives you the confidence to go out and evangelize your family, friends and perhaps even the world. Greg successfully drives home the point that we are called as Catholics to know our faith, live our faith and share faith. As Greg states, “This isn’t about me. It’s about being open to what God might do through you. When it comes to knowing our faith, living our faith, and especially sharing our faith, we can’t do it adequately on our own.”
The book opens with Greg’s very good explanation on what exactly the New Evangelization is. Technically….it’s now new but instead years in the making. He used imagery that struck me as a very good way to describe it. Pope John Paul II spent his pontificate gathering the kindling for the fire. Pope Benedict XVI struck the match and bent over to ignite the wood pile during his pontificate. Finally now we are in position to see the flames erupt on an awakening in the Church, perhaps the greatest one since the birth of the Church some 2000 years ago.
One of the things Greg states early on in the book is that we need to ignite our faith within ourselves while we go out and ignite the faith of others. “We must be credible witnesses of our faith willing to carry our crosses and burden of our faith” as Greg so clearly put it. He does not just throw that statement out there and walk away. A very useful part of the book comes in Chapter 10 “A Year of New Evangelizing”. In that chapter Greg has created three lists of suggested ideas for knowing your faith, living you faith and sharing your faith. Within each list there are 52 ideas for accomplishing each. These ideas include little things such as reading and prayer suggestions all the way up to starting your own blog or podcast.
Another nice addition included in the book is what Greg calls “New Evangelizers in Action”. These are short stories detailing what fellow Catholics have done to become a part of the New Evangelization. Sprinkled throughout the book are 11 examples (one in each chapter) of people who have found ways to share their faith with others. It was really enlightening to see the many unique ways people have found to share the faith. Lastly Greg challenges the reader with questions at the end of each chapter which draws the reader into further reflection.
This is a great addition to the library of anyone wanting a better understanding of the New Evangelization. It is timely and the road map Greg lays out is one that provides ample guidance to someone with the goal of evangelizing their next door neighbor or someone wanting to tackle a bigger project like a blog….about book reviews….or something similar.
I received a copy of the book for this review from Franciscan Media / Servant Books.