Know 8 “laws” of sharing the faith
These laws are based on the immutable principles of selling that I learned in my real estate days and are invaluable for effective evangelization.
Keep It Simple. You should not get too complicated; that is, do not try to share too much because people can only absorb a limited amount of information at a time. Try not to be too theological or to get into heavy philosophy.
Keep Him/Her Saying “Yes.” Establishing common ground is very important when sharing the faith. Ask questions or make statements with which the other person will naturally agree. Even if the person you are sharing your faith with is an agnostic, you might ask, “If there is an afterlife, wouldn’t it be better to go to heaven than to go to hell?” Any sane person would answer yes to that, even if only in his heart.
Be Enthusiastic. Genuine enthusiasm is crucial to effective evangelization. The Greek word theos, meaning “God”, is the root of the word enthusiasm, which literally means “being in God.” The presence of God shows in your attitude. If you smile when you share the Gospel … you will be a more effective evangelist.
Call Him by Name. Always ask for the name of the person with whom you are sharing the Faith. Using a person’s name is powerful; he cannot help but respond to his name. [It] is a proven way to keep his attention and make what you are sharing more significant to him personally.
Show and Then Tell. Rather than just telling someone about the beauty of the Eucharist, why not show it to him? For example, you might take him to an adoration chapel. Many people have been converted in the presence of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.
In a conversation with a Bible-believing Christian, rather than telling him a particular Catholic doctrine is biblical, show him the doctrine in the Scriptures and have him read it for himself.
Always Agree. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says, “Agree quickly with your adversary” (Mt 5:25 KJV). This does not mean you should water down your message …but should, however, remain positive and not argue with anyone.
Ask Questions. Salesmen are taught this saying: “He who asks questions has control.” When I evangelize I constantly ask questions … Often the way to bring people to Christ and His Church is not by telling them anything, but by asking them the right questions.
Practice Virtue. Let’s face it: if you are not “walking the talk,” people could not care less what you say. It is by the way you live your life – the good example you set at home, at work, at school, and in social settings – that others will know that you really follow Jesus Christ.
Excerpt from Chapter Five, “The Eight Laws of Effectively Sharing the Faith With Anyone” from How to Share Your Faith With Anyone: A Practical Manual for Catholic Evangelization by Terry Barber (Ignatius Press, 2013).
Used by permission.
TERRY BARBER is an international speaker instrumental in founding three Catholic organizations – Saint Joseph Communications, The Catholic Resource Center, and Lighthouse Catholic Media. He is a co-host for “The Terry and Jesse Radio Show” on podcast as well as “Reasons for Faith Live” with Jesse Romero on EWTN Radio Network.
“This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
The duty of Christians to take part in the life of the Church impels them to act as witnesses of the Gospel and of the obligations that flow from it. This witness is a transmission of the faith in words and deeds. Witness is an act of justice that establishes the truth or makes it known.
Catechism of the Catholic Church, #2472