Dr. Croft, who is the author of many books on mission and evangelization, in addition to a lovely novel about the meaning of Advent, The Advent Calendar, also located evangelism in discipleship saying, “new evangelization calls for a clear vision of what it means to be a disciple. The new evangelization is a call to whole life discipleship: an invitation to follow Christ for the whole length of our lives, with every part of our lives, and into wholeness and abundance of that life.”
Going all way back to the seven men who are considered the Church’s first deacons, evangelism has been, as Bp. Steven observed, “rooted theologically in diakonia.” It is interesting to note that St. Philip, on whose liturgical memorial, 11 October, the Second Vatican Council and our current year of faith, which marks the 50th anniversary of that momentous occasion, began, was among the first to preach the Gospel outside of Jerusalem, preaching in Samaria. Then there is, of course, his encounter with the Ethiopian eunuch, after which encounter we are told, “Philip came to Azotus, and went about proclaiming the good news to all the towns until he reached Caesarea” (Acts 8).