There are a number of things we can learn from our evangelist friends.
I love people who are called to be evangelists. You know the ones—they are able to engage in a faith conversation from almost any angle, in almost any moment. Sure, you have some with the gift of evangelist who abuse the gift and use it to the detriment of the Church’s witness. But find the gems out there—those who have that “woo” in their very bones—and it’s almost as though you can see the little flames of the Spirit hovering above their heads.
I know; I am friends with and work with a number of them. Here goes a typical conversation I have with one of them:
Me: How was your trip to Bora Bora?
My evangelist friend (flames beginning to burn fiery red): I got to see four people come to Jesus!
Me (no flame): That’s great! So, how was Bora Bora?
My evangelist friend (flames about to take over her whole body): It was nice, but, wow, what a privilege to see four people put their lives in Jesus’ hands!
After my initial jealousy wears off, I praise God, along with them, for his goodness. After all, it’s my Christian duty, right? To thank God for all the people who are coming to faith through the results of my co-workers’ and friends’ efforts? “Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord…” and all that. “Rejoice when others rejoice.”
Seriously, when we are around those with the gift of evangelist—those who seem to be able to engage someone in a faith conversation faster and more meaningfully than you can say, “Help me Jesus!”—we likely have one of two responses:
(1) Jealousy burns in our bones and we quietly convince ourselves that God doesn’t really need us to draw people to himself and, well, we aren’t …