This can always seem like a challenge when we evangelize, but one thing we have to keep in mind is that we’re not going to have all the answers or always say the perfect thing. We may even leave the conversation thinking, “Oh, I wish I would’ve said that” or “I could’ve said that instead.” The beauty of evangelizing is that we will have numerous chances to share the faith. But I also think it’s important that we treat each evangelizing opportunity as a learning opportunity.
It would be safe to say that most people feel reluctant to evangelize because they’re not sure that others want to hear about it. However, through my experience, most people are interested. They may not flat out tell you they’re interested in the Faith, but if you raise their curiosity, they may be more open to asking you questions. This is why we need to be prepared; when they ask a question, that’s the time to respond.
But what if they ask a question that you don’t know the answer to?
This can happen, and you may feel disappointed because you don’t have a solid understanding of something and can’t give a complete answer. This is okay. Share with this person your thoughts on the issue or suggest some resources (such as Catholic Answers, Busted Halo, etc.) that may be able to help them learn. Keep in mind, most people don’t expect us to be experts! If they see us doing our best to live out our faith, they will appreciate it.
The next time you’re evangelizing, look for opportunities to respond as you listen to what they’re saying. Listen to their questions, to their statements; and if it’s something you can answer, wonderful! If it’s something you can’t answer, find some relatable experience you or a person you know has had and describe how it was handled from a faith perspective. If you have absolutely no experience with it, let them know what you think (based on Church teachings, of course) and share with them other resources as mentioned above.
So, what should you say?
Listen for their questions and look for a raised level of curiosity, then use that to respond. Whatever you do, don’t be hesitant to evangelize!