I’ve heard it said many times that in order to be a good writer you have to read.
It’s advice that transfers into almost any endeavor.
Want to be a good golfer? Watch or play with good golfers.
Want to be a good leader? Work for a good leader.
Want to learn how to cook? Be exposed to good cooking.
This, of course, applies to Christianity as well:
Want to learn how to evangelized? Be evangelized!
We often find our Church in a rut these days. People are over-worked and underpaid. They have become bored with or cynical about ministry. Nothing seems to work like it should.
As I see it, the only way out of this mess is to get better at evangelization. The only way to get better at evangelization is to be evangelized.
More Than Inspiring Talks
In chapter 6 of To Heal, Proclaim, and Teach, which is called “Be Evangelized,” I wanted to do more than suggest a list of people and places you could go to to get yourself some evangelization–as if it was some possession we could obtain.
We all get nice bursts of joy and inspiration from retreats and conferences. To be evangelized, though, we have to open ourselves up to something much deeper.
We have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
In order to be a disciples of Jesus Christ, we have to take a leap.
We have to step out of our comfort zone and into a place where we are sustained only by God’s grace.
So, to say “go to Eucharistic Adoration” or “go listen to a talk about so-and-so” or “read this book,” is not a really effective way to let yourself be evangelized.
Instead, I wanted to share some simple practices and challenges in the book that would put you in the position to become capable of effective evangelization.
You can read more about those nine challenges here: healproclaimteach.com/chapter6.
All of them have a very simple goal: get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Letting yourself be evangelized comes down to a very simple concept:
What can I do to abandon myself to God’s grace?
In order to answer that question, we might consider these other questions first:
- What gives me the certainty that I am loved by God despite my sinfulness? What experiences, memories, and events convince me that this is true?
- What are the false perceptions of myself that I try to project towards others?
- What prayer experiences push me out of my comfort zone and into a place where I learn something new about myself and about God?
- Is there anyone in my life that I am afraid to love? Am I able to see people for who they really are? Am I willing to love even those who I do not like?
- Who has God placed in my life that I can turn to for support when I am weak?
Weekly Update: To Heal, Proclaim, and Teach
February 29 – March 6, 2016
To Heal, Proclaim, and Teach ships out at the end of next week!
Wrapping my mind around all that I want to saw and do around the launch of this book is overwhelming. It’s a big book. There are 320 pages. There’s so much I want to get out of those pages and into the minds, hearts, and actions of ministers and volunteers in the Church today.
So, here’s my plan. Each week for the next few months I’m going to focus on one theme from the book to help organize what I want to get out there into the world.
This week’s theme is “Be Evangelized.” It comes from chapter 6 of To Heal, Proclaim, and Teach. You can learn more about this chapter at healproclaimteach.com/chapter6.
Here’s the plan for the week:
Recover from LA Religious Education Congress. I spent last week in Anaheim with thousands of other Catholics from all around the world. It was a great event. I got to meet and talk with a number of people who became the first people to see and buy To Heal, Proclaim, and Teach. I spent most of Monday, however, and a plane.
Prepare for Sunday’s Gospel reading. Each week I create a new worksheet for premium members of The Religion Teacher to use in class. This week’s Gospel is on the Parable of the Prodigal Son. I’ll ask the students to recall a time in their lives in which they felt like each of the major characters in the the story: the lost son, the father, and the loyal son. I’ll also encourage adults to consider how they need mercy just like the lost son needs mercy. This is the first step in our own path towards being evangelized.
(I didn’t finish this until Wednesday…)
Many of us have already been evangelized, but taking the time to recall our “Encounter Stories.” On Wednesday, I will share a testimony from one of my biggest encounter stories. I’ll post this witness–this encounter story–to my personal blog and on my personal social media pages.
Share about prayer. To be evangelized, we have to open ourselves to the grace of God through prayer. I’ll share some of the best ways I have found the Lord on a consistent basis through prayer. Look for this on my author Facebook page.
This is a big week. On March 4-5, Pope Francis has called all of the Catholic Church to dedicate March 4-5 as”24 Hours for the Lord.” Is your diocese participating in some way? Do everything you can to let yourself be evangelized through the opportunity of this day! Follow me personally on social media if you would like to experience this day with me: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.
The final challenge in chapter 6 of To Heal, Proclaim, and Teach is titled “bread for the journey.” I ask readers to take to hear the final words of the mass: “GO.” Sunday is a day for going. We must bring the spirit of the Eucharist and communion to the world.
I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to share all this with you. I look forward to a great week of being evangelized. If you haven’t gotten your copy of To Heal, Proclaim, and Teach yet, now is the time. The Preorder Bonuses end next Friday when the book ships. Get the book on Amazon or order with through Ave Maria Press and use the promo code THERELIGIONTEACHER to get $3 OFF plus free shipping.