Let’s get bakc on a daily schedule for Pope Paul VI’s apostolic exhortation following the 1974 synod on evangelization. Some of you may have been tapping your feet on the primarily Third World concerns of liberation these past several days. Now that we are nearly halfway through the document, we get to the “how-to” of the matter.
40. The obvious importance of the content of evangelization must not overshadow the importance of the ways and means.
This question of “how to evangelize” is permanently relevant, because the methods of evangelizing vary according to the different circumstances of time, place and culture, and because they thereby present a certain challenge to our capacity for discovery and adaptation.
On us particularly, the pastors of the Church, rests the responsibility for reshaping with boldness and wisdom, but in complete fidelity to the content of evangelization, the means that are most suitable and effective for communicating the Gospel message to the men and women of our times.
Let it suffice, in this meditation, to mention a number of methods which, for one reason or another, have a fundamental importance.
Fairly basic and logical:
The way to evangelize is always up for discussion, as the optimal means of communicating the Gospel will change depending on innumerable human factors of both the recipients and the communicators.
Bishops bear the primary responsibility for leadership, especially the assessment on how to reach people.