New Era, Old Strategies: Tips on Engagement from the Apostles
Are you feeling the same intensity of change in your Church ministry that I am?
For once, I’m not talking about the changes that COVID-19 has brought. I mean that the strategies for catechesis and evangelization which seemed to work for the Greatest Generation now fall on deaf ears.
I think Pope Francis had it right when he said, “We are not living in an era of change but a change of era”. And from my vantage point, this era looks a lot like the Apostolic age.
So, what can we do to begin to live fruitfully in a new Apostolic age?
- Deliberately embrace the time we are in. The Lord put you in this particular moment, with particular gifts, with the grace that you need.
- Choose a posture of engagement. Rather than a posture of accommodation or isolation, live in the tension between proclaiming the truths of the Church and drawing in those who are not perfectly living our values.
- Hold higher standards of living the gospel for those who are committed Christians, but have more patience and mercy with those who are outside.
- Learn to speak the language and see with the worldview of the culture that we are in.
- Call on the Holy Spirit as the primary agent of evangelization. His faithfulness and creativity are absolutely essential.
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Your Next Steps
- No more blaming; jump into being the remedy. You were made for “a time such as this” (Esther 4:14).
- Reread Paul’s letters and Acts of the Apostles.
- Embrace the challenge of continued to learning and growth so that you might be open to what the Lord is calling you to do.
Jim Jansen – Director of the Office Evangelization and Catechesis
Jen Moser – Coordinator of Leadership Formation for the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis
Resources Mentioned in the Podcast
From Christendom to Apostolic Mission: Pastoral Strategies for an Apostolic Age
3 Responses to “New Era, Old Strategies: Tips on Engagement from the Apostles”
Thank you for this podcast! Lately, I have felt myself falling into the “isolation” posture, but until listening to this podcast, couldn’t really name what was going on with me but blamed COVID-19 for it. Even though COVID-19 has caused some of the isolation, the truth is my confidence level is not where I would like it to be in order to engage people who are not living our values, especially a few of my family members. I am afraid I will push them further away from Jesus, and I’m afraid they will break off any relationship with me. Jen made the statement in the podcast that, “there is going to be a high cost of discipleship.” Jesus tells us the same thing, “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not first sit down and estimate the cost, to see whether he has enough to complete it?” (Luke 14:28). I pray the Holy Spirit will give me enough to finish what I start.
Linda, what a beautiful sentiment! I agree, it is so very hard to walk that line between having high standards for myself as a disciple and lower expectations for those who do not yet have a relationship with Jesus. On the other end of things, I worry about whether or not I am accommodating too much in order to maintain the relationships, which ultimately causes me to not invite my friends and family into anything deeper. May the Holy Spirit guide us all!
I love this question Linda. For me the only way to resolve those tensions are in the daily intercessory prayer for those individuals. That is the place where the Lord gives me HIS love for people in my life and where I find the Lord’s counsel on how to embody that love. The pattern I notice in myself is that I often take on too much responsibility for another person’s spiritual journey. The Lord often relieves me of a burden I have put on myself and re-directs me to a simple act of love. Jim