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