Obstacles of Evangelization
What gets in our way?
The truth of the matter is evangelization, if done right, does not always bear fruit right away but it will. This is to say it is not a manner of speaking nor is it really defined by its content, but it is more a way of being with others. When one grows closer to Christ sharing His love is the result of His love for you and your response to that love. It doesn’t mean you must ask the question of knowing Him and His Love every five minutes to all you encounter. Rather, it is a general effort which although not always bearing immediate fruit will eventually. So what stands in the way of this? From the active side, erroneous notions of it (expectations), fear, and self-deception/lack of surrender, and from the passive side, misperception of the faith and/or its content, the typical lies about conformity and its cost, and the simple decision against it are all significant.
First, let us consider the aspects that might make us not want to evangelize. Misunderstanding how simple evangelization is or defining it as something that is difficult or out of one's reach can make us fear the whole idea. The truth is if you are a Baptized Christian and living what you believe as best you can, are thereby experiencing growth, and are doing so with others, you are already engaged loosely in evangelization. Showing up to prayer and frequenting the sacraments are actions of receiving evangelization. Leading a Bible study, discussing the faith with friends, or helping/being helped by the being a friend/having someone accompany you in your strife whatever expression such may take, is witnessing to the Gospel in the lives of one's loved ones. Anytime we are challenged in the showing others the love of God by expanding this bubble of grace is an act of evangelization. For some this will be easier on account of extroversion, for others they must stretch themselves a bit, and more heavily pursue prayer to support those more extroverted. There are legitimate times where one cannot do much to expand the range of God's love. We are not the savior and as such are only so responsible for the spread of the kingdom. We do not have to feel guilt for not getting someone to say "yes" to an invitation or if they just are not ready to agree to a set in God's direction. Whatever amount we may participate in the mission of the Christ or in what capacity we serve that mission, we have limitations as to what we can do, and this is the nature of the problem. So when our efforts yeild bitter fruit that fruit was always intended more for Christ than us (John 15:18). The mission is not ours at least insofar as its object nor subject is not our creation.
Second, since we are only responsible for our own heart and how we go about this mission, we must consider what makes people interested in moving toward assent to faith's tenets and toward receiving the love of God which encompasses that on all sides. Hurt of any kind, lies concerning the life of faith, and/or suspicion of the tenets of faith or desirability of living the faith are the significant majority of all hinderances toward moving in the direction of God. Sometimes too, alternative perspective and it being "a hill they will die on" is a difficult wall to overcome since they often have no desire to see issues from another perspective then their own. Any arguments, however convincing, may perhaps, at best, open their mind to considering more than their own perspective on a given issue, and at worst, just make them feel more uncomfortable with the prospect of openness. Here is where delivery, word choice, and knowing when and when not to propose the alternative way of thinking are extremely important to consider.
In conclusion, "Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission." Indeed, we are all called to "always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence; and keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are abused, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame", and to be "as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves" (1 Peter 3:15-16, Matthew 10:16). This does not mean we have to make it any more difficult than it is but be prepared to be given such an opportunity to further witness to one's faith and the love of God and its salvific plan/intent. We have a great amount of opportunity to strive for heaven and witness to our faith in the loves around us, learning one's faith and dedicating time to prayer are a very key part in this process. Nevertheless, we are always supported by the Holy Spirit in our efforts, and we are not responsible for their response so long as we do our part properly and charitably. We must remember that even though we may be rejected for our love of Christ and our efforts it is not because it has something to do with us but with their relationship with Him Who Loves (John 15:18). There are hinderances toward our own efforts those we should do our best to overcome, and as for the obstacles that stand in the way of those we encounter, we should help them address them as if they are our own.
Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1213.