God placed this heavy charge on my heart recently: If you're not uncomfortable evangelizing, then you're doing it wrong.
Let me explain.
Evangelization in the 21st century is just plan awkward. It requires talking to other people, normally in person, about what has become a taboo subject. (Millennials everywhere collectively cringe.) You have to worry about simultaneously saving someone's soul while also not ostracizing yourself, coming off as judgmental, or risking losing your job or relationships. You sometimes even have to go against popular opinion.
As my priest said at Mass on Sunday, the world has essentially said you can do whatever you want in church, but don't you dare bring it out into the real world.
And yet, that's exactly what evangelization calls us to do.
Now, all of you extroverts are going to tell me, "I don't mind talking to people!"
But I bet even the most social person out there hates to feel awkward. And let's face it, asking someone if they know about Jesus is just plain awkward, no matter what way you do it.
Here's the thing: Evangelization is not about what makes us comfortable.
I'm sure Jesus wasn't too comfortable eating with sinners. It couldn't have been fun being scorned by the church leaders of the time. And I'm pretty darn sure that hanging on the cross for three hours to save us all from sin also wasn't the comfiest situation either.
Evangelization is about loving someone enough to move past the awkwardness for the sake of their soul.
A church group and I were talking about Jehovah's Witnesses recently. One woman commented that she was thankful our salvation didn't rely on how many people we converted. We all agreed that we couldn't imagine having to show up on people's doorsteps, knowing full well that the reaction is probably going to be annoyance at best.
But that got me thinking...while we don't have a certain number of converts we have to reach in Catholicism to get into heaven...that kind of is the whole point of salvation.
Because what better way can we lay down our lives for our neighbor than by doing something that makes us super uncomfortable but that will make them happier and saved?
Trust me, I'm the worst at this. I HATE anything awkward. I have social anxiety, I care what people think about me WAY too much, and I just hate being uncomfortable.
Recently, God has placed on my heart a way to evangelize in a BIG way. I'm trying to come up with every excuse possible, but the main one is that it will force me to move out of my comfort zone every single day.
So what I have to decide is, am I going to be comfortable or am I going to be brave?
I think I know what God's answer will be.