We are told in the book of Acts that on the Day of Pentecost, about 3,000 souls were added to the Church. This simple fact has for many linked the Day of Pentecost to the process of evangelism. But I think the coming of the Spirit to the Church was more than a membership drive, and so evangelism for us must be more & deeper than simply new members.
The miracle of Pentecost is a clear reversal of the tragedy of the Tower of Babel where humans became not only further estranged from God, but also from one another. The Communion for which we were created is lost and the story of the progressive disaster of that lost communion marks much of the opening narratives of Scripture. In contrast, the Gospels and Acts tell a story of the reversal of that lost communion.
One of the great challenges of the Church in the modern age is to return the proclamation of the Gospel (evangelism) to its proper foundations and rescue it from the increasing secularism of marketing growth and moralistic interpretations. Christ did not come to make bad men good, but to make dead men live. The conversion of 3,000 at Pentecost was not a membership drive, but glorious reversal of both The Fall and the tragedy of Babel. That is the Gospel we proclaim! Not, “Join our church, be good, and God will take care of you,” but “Life, freedom, healing, forgiveness, redemption, and salvation are offered to you in the death & resurrection of Jesus.” We, The Church, are simply the humble stewards of that message, that way of life, and the mysteries of the Sacraments through which Jesus still comes to us.