Leaving the Evangelism Bubble: How Far Outside Your Comfort Zone Have You Gone?

I received an intriguing email invitation today.

The offer came from a radio program, inviting me to come on their show and to speak with their audience about Lent. The hosts of this show are active in another religion, one which does not traditionally observe the season of Lent. In their note, the hosts told me that they are interested in learning more about Lent. A portion of their note reads:

As _____, we don’t formally observe Lent and this year we’ve decided to learn more about it, observe it and blog our experience… we were wondering if you might be willing to come on our show and talk with us a little about the practice of Lent and how beginners can start observing it?

I took a few moments to pray about this request, honestly hoping I’d receive some massive sign from God saying in his booming voice:

“Hail Lisa, my faithful servant, this is not a good idea. Generously decline and pray that they will find a more suitable spokesperson.”

Unfortunately, that divine diatribe didn’t happen. In absence of lightning and thunder and a big “no”, I heard in my head one of my Daddy’s mantras:

“Always err on the side of generosity.”

Darn. Ok. When in doubt, say “yes”.

I’m still waiting for the details to be confirmed, and you can be assured that I’ll be asking for your prayers if this pans out. I’ve listened to a bit of the program in question, and the hosts seem both extremely devout and fabulously fun. If given this opportunity, I hope that it will be an opportunity at bridge building and also at getting to know one another’s faiths better, with an eye towards possibly erasing some previously-held stereotypes on both sides.

We’ll see.

I’d like to know from you today, have you ever truly “evangelized” outside of your comfort zone? What was the result? How did you prepare and how did it go for you? What would you have done differently?

About Lisa M. Hendey

Lisa M. Hendey is the founder and editor of CatholicMom.com and the bestselling author of The Handbook for Catholic Moms and A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms.

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  • http://www.briannaheldt.com Brianna Heldt

    How exciting! People will be listening who probably have no exposure otherwise to Lent or to Catholicism. And people need to hear these things. My husband and I came into the Church a year and a half ago, having converted from being lifelong Protestants. And I am convinced that had we been exposed to the fullness of the faith sooner, we would have converted sooner. Instead, we’d internalized some ridiculous stereotypes about the Church and some of that was hard to overcome. At any rate, I am so thrilled about this opportunity and I know God will use you greatly! Yay!

  • http://www.snoringscholar.com Sarah Reinhard

    Yay for you! I can’t think of a better spokeswoman for Lent! :)

  • Anne

    Good for you! Praying for you.

  • http://www.patheos.com/About-Patheos/Pat-Gohn.html Pat Gohn

    Yes, I have. And the first rule of order is not to apologize for the faith you espouse. Just embrace it and share it. Most people respect a person who is willing to share in a friendly way. Most folks will ask questions if they want to know more something you describe.

    If it were me, I think I’d prep a few sentences about ways to observe each of the areas that Lenten practice touches: prayer, fasting, almsgiving. Those “virtues” of Lent are pretty universal ideas to begin with. Their beauty is what they build in us, and help us appreciate after Lent.

    Speak from your experience and remember its not your job to convert anybody — that’s what the Holy Spirit’s job is. Ours is just to be willing to invite them to the banquet.

    I hope you’ll post a day/time that we might tune in as well as pray for your guest appearance!