In a recent study by Barna we see a growing trend to answer this question "yes" and the study goes on to show an interesting disconnect. According to the study, 96% of Millennials think that "part of [their] faith means being a witness about Jesus" and 94% go on to agree that "The best thing that could ever happen to someone is for them to come to know Jesus". These numbers are promising and are right in line with generations before them though another question starkly shows the quandary at hand. 47% - almost half - of Millennials think "It is wrong to share one's personal beliefs with someone of a different faith in hopes that they will one day share the same faith." The trend is seen to be growing as 27% of Gen-X feels this way and only 20% of those older. While the study didn't look at teens from "Gen Z" the experts think this s a trend that will keep growing.
In Matthew 28:19 we see that Jesus gives us the "Great Commission" to go out and make disciples of all nations and bring them to the sacraments. The stats show that people intellectually know this is what we are called to do, and believe that it is good for people to respond to the call, so why do people think that it is wrong for them to offer that invitation? I think it is linked to the last statement on the chart ... "If someone disagrees with you, it means that they are judging you". People have heard the warning of Christ, "Judge not lest you be judged" and don't want to be guilty of pointing out a spec while ignoring their own plank. These are legitimate concerns. As catholics we are called to find the dynamic balances in our faith. We do not know the hearts of others and only God can judge them and their hearts. While holding fast to this, we are also called to give words to our faith, share it with others, and challenge others when we see that God is calling them to more. St. Paul spills much ink explicitly calling us to do so.
In a video from a while back, magician Penn Jillette (from Penn & Teller) addresses the question of if it is wrong to evangelize (he uses the term proselytize*). Being an ardent atheist he claims that it is actually wrong NOT to share your faith and goes so far as to ask, "How much do you have to hate someone to not proselytize them?". While I can't endorse everything that Penn says, this video (below) is fascinating and offers some points that are very much worth considering.
It isn't ours to judge others, but it is ours to explicitly invite them to know Jesus and to encounter Him in the sacraments. We will pray for you as you do this in your own ministry and as you walk with others while teaching them to do so as well.
Written by Shawn Madden
* Note that there is usually noteable distinctions made between the terms proselytizing and evangelizing (or evangelism). For the purposes of this conversation though, what Penn says about "proselytizing" seems to bring much to bear on the conversation of evangelization.