EquipCast 13: Five Myths of Evangelization
Evangelization has been a buzzword in the Church for the past few decades, but many of us still don’t know what it means. It conjures up images of knocking on doors and standing on street corners. We know it’s necessary to do. After all, weren’t we commissioned to “Go and make disciples of the nations”? But, for some reason, it’s hard to begin. In today’s EquipCast, Fr. Lorig and Jim Jansen discuss the hang-ups that many of us have when it comes to evangelization, and they leave us with a few tips to get started.
Fr. Jeff Lorig – Director of Pastoral Services
Jim Jansen – Director of the Office Evangelization and Catechesis
Questions for reflection
- Where is the Lord giving you an opportunity to evangelize within the current moments of your life?
- What myth is most pervasive in your life?
Conversation joggers from Sharing Jesus Without Fear by William Fay and Linda Evens Shepherd
- Do you have any kind of spiritual beliefs?
- To you, who is Jesus Christ?
- Do you believe in heaven or hell?
- If you die, where would you go?
- If what you are believing is not true, would you want to know?
Myth 1: Every event held in a church is evangelization.
It is possible to make everything we do serve the Lord. But, the fish fry cannot replace the proclamation of the Gospel with words. The things we offer that are most compelling come from an overflow in the relationship we have with the Jesus.
Myth 2: We need to renew ourselves first. (I’m not saintly enough. I’m not experienced at evangelization. Our parish is not ready.)
While you cannot give what you do not have, it’s okay to be an amateur in sharing the Gospel. Jesus makes us saints while on the journey.
Myth 3: If we just fix the liturgy, evangelization will come automatically.
It is true that the Eucharist is the source of our faith, and if we renew the mass, the faithful will receive great graces to evangelize. However, the Eucharist is also the summit of our faith. It is for the initiated, and the hard work of evangelization will help to restore the liturgy. People who are madly in love with Jesus make a difference. They sing; they participate; they pray.
Myth 4: It is hard to evangelize in light of the recent scandals.
It is necessary that we recognize the gross and ugly failures to love that have happened within the Church. However, you still have a story. One that says, “The scandals break my heart, but they haven’t shaken my faith. Because my faith was always in Jesus who showers us with undeserved love.”
Myth 5: I just need a program to evangelize.
Programs are good, but they are only useful tools if they are in the hands of a missionary disciple. A missionary disciple can lead another person to encounter Jesus. Because at the end of the day, Jesus is the program, and by extension his Body the Church, the parish, is the program.