Easy Solutions for Reluctant Evangelizers

Discomfort does not excuse us from evangelizing. After all, Jesus was uncomfortable on the cross. And if Scripture and the Catholic Catechism of the Church are to be taken seriously, it seems that we have no excuse.

“Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist are sacraments of Christian initiation. They ground the common vocation of all Christ’s disciples, a vocation to holiness and to the mission of evangelizing the world” (CCC 1533).

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  and teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19).

So, let’s get on with it. Here are some other ideas on how to get started.


Three years ago, Val Kelly was nudged during adoration to start The Holy Face Project.  in the United States. She had recently learned of a campaign in Ireland to put the image of the Holy Face of Jesus from the Shroud of Turin on billboards.  “I felt an urgent need to bring Jesus to the public and silently remind everyone he is still here,” she explained. “More people seem to be moving him out of their lives.”

There is just the face of Our Lord, the website: www.TheHolyFaceProject.com and the image copyright on the billboard. Visitors to the site can then learn more about the miraculous image by visiting the Shroud.com link. Even if one does nothing more than look upon the face of Jesus, there is certainly power in that.

Kelly received permission from photographer Barrie Schwartz to use his iconic photo from the shroud’s Holy Face image. Then, she contacted Lamar Advertising Company for the first South Carolina billboard and has worked with them successfully in other states. Kelly partnered with the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry, a 501c3 tax-exempt corporation, which enables donations to be tax deductible.  Her rosary prayer group initially funded the first billboard in Pritchardville, South Carolina. A second one in Georgia followed the next year. The original billboard still stands and resulted in approximately 3,088,800 impressions (eyes on) from December 2016 through December 2019.

People wanting to bring this image of Jesus to their community, can fundraise through the Holy Face Project. They simply need to contact their local billboard company, (Lamar, if it is present there) and determine the desired location and cost. In addition to your own efforts spreading the word and fundraising (social media, church groups, Knights of Columbus, etc.) the Holy Face Project website will list your city for people to click on and make donations. Once the goal is reached, Kelly will handle the contract with the billboard company.

The idea is spreading in the U.S., and groups in Spain, Canada, and Switzerland have reached out to Kelly. To bring the face of Jesus to your community, email Val Kelly at (Enable Javascript to see the email address) or call  843-785-8893.

 Read Expert Advice

Evangelizing Catholics: A Mission Manual for the New Evangelization is by Dr. Scott Hahn who once worked at getting people out of the Church. “To be a Christian is to be an evangelizer,” according to him.  He shows us a simple, beautiful message to share  in words and actions.

In Everyday Witness: 7 Simple Habits for Sharing Your Faith, Theresa Rickard, OP stirs the desire to share the faith with examples and suggestions on how to “comfortably engage in God-talk.”  She recognizes that hitting someone over the head with religion is not effective yet noted: “The only church some people will meet is you. Who will pass the faith onto the next generation—to your children and grandchildren—if not you?”

Sharing Your Catholic Faith Story: Tools, Tips & Testimony by Nancy Ward is about writing your faith story. Ward at Joy Alive is all about using testimonies of joy and faith to draw people in. The first part covers the why and how to do it, and the second part is filled with engaging stories.  As a Catholic writer, I confess that I glossed over the first part but was duly impressed with how well told the faith stories are, so clearly, Ward’s advice hits the mark.

Hands On Experience

Join up with  St. Paul Street Evangelization. Founded by Steve Dawson in 2012, their mission is to train, equip, and mobilize Catholics for the urgent work of evangelization. You can join a group, take an online class,  sign up for their newsletter, and discover ways to partner with them by going to their site.

In Holy Hacks: Everyday Ways to Live Your Faith and Get to Heaven, has a chapter on evangelization with advice from experts. Here are some easy suggestions.

  • Wherever you go, ask God to decide who you will sit next to and to direct your conversation to bring you both closer to him. He will surprise you.
  • Wear a crucifix.
  • Be open about your faith and don’t edit God out of your conversations. (Luke 9:26).
  • To people in the service industry say: “Thanks. God bless you!”
  • When someone brings up a problem or an issue, tell them you will pray for them.
  • Use social media to send messages and articles but also, use it to engage with people. If you have nerves of steel, go to liberal sites and represent the Catholic viewpoint in comment sections.
  • Have a statue or two outside your house and religious art on your walls. A picture is worth a thousand words.

When we are excited about something, we let people know.  The Catholic faith is the best news of all. Let’s tell the world!  “From this loving knowledge of Christ springs the desire to proclaim him, to ‘evangelize,’ and to lead others to the ‘yes’ of faith in Jesus Christ” (CCC 429).

Patti Maguire Armstrong, is the mother of 10, and has a B.A. in social work and M.A. in public administration. Her newest book is Holy Hacks: Everyday Ways to Live Your Faith & Get to Heaven. Others include Big Hearted: Inspiring Stories from Everyday Families and the Amazing Grace Series. Follow her at @PattiArmstrong and read her blog at PattiMaguireArmstrong.com.