The Clear Path to Discipleship: Step 2
Start Your Engines: The Driving Force of Conversions
Have you heard a compelling presentation of the gospel that transformed your life?
The power of our own conversions has led us to the belief that every parish needs a Conversion Engine.
A conversion engine is a particular method that a parish uses to introduce people to the core message of the gospel and lead them to entrust their lives to Jesus. There are many ministries and programs that could fit this description, but whatever program you choose must have the following:
- A team of missionary disciples: A team is more than a program, it’s a group who are on mission together, keeping each other focused on the goal of evangelization, and who can apprentice new leaders.
- Commissioned by the parish: More than a clandestine group of people meeting in the parish, a conversion engine has the blessing of the pastor and the buy in of his people.
- To propose the Gospel: We never moved beyond the need to hear the gospel message in our own lives. It’s a fundamental foundational message that we need to keep coming back to again and again.
- In a relational way: A conversion engine needs listening leaders who take in the story of the other person, reflecting on where this person is and how the message of the gospel directly speaks into the things that they’re dealing with.
- To those who are not yet disciples: We must focus on the outward mission of the church because otherwise it will be too easy to forget our mission and to become self-referential
- Through a sustained and coordinated effort: This will be a long process as more disciples are formed and more leaders are trained for mission. A conversion engine should be integrated with the other ministries and programing within the parish, and the people of the parish need to be bought in.
- That leads them to entrust their lives to Jesus and begin a life of discipleship within his Church: Once people have a conversion, they are suddenly open to the grace of the Holy spirit, and he brings forth new gifts for the parish community. The parish should see a flowering of charisms.
A Conversion Engine is the second step in the Clear Path to Discipleship.
The 4 Steps in The Clear Path to Discipleship:
Step 1: Relational Outreach – the efforts of a parish to meet people who don’t yet have a relationship with Christ and to build trust and arouse wonder at way that we live as Christians. That is, witnessing to the love of Jesus.
Step 2: Conversion Engine – the effort to proclaim the basic message of the gospel and to invite people to accept the message of Jesus, accept him and begin following him as a disciple in the midst of His church.
Step 3: Discipleship Formation – once someone has accepted Jesus, they become his disciple. They’ve turned from their former way of life and begin following him, and they really need to be established in the life of the community. And, they guidance to be established in the life of the sacraments and begin building good habits of a Christian life.
Step 4: Missionary Initiative – sending disciples out to evangelize, both through their words and through their witness. This step helps parishioners identify their charisms and discover their mission field, the people that they’re most uniquely suited serve. It’s about a full discovery of their baptismal promises.
The Clear Path to Discipleship is the process of how a parish accompanies people in their growth, and there are carefully selected programs that make up that process. However, every program is at the service of the process, and the process is ultimately at the service of the people.
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Jim Jansen – Director of the Office Evangelization and Catechesis
Andy Dejka – Coordinator of Parish Evangelization and Adult Disciple
Selecting a Conversion Engine for Your Parish – a tool to help you decide which conversion engine is best for your parish. If you would like to talk more in-depth about possible conversion engines for your parish, contact Andy Dejka.
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