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  #1  
Old Oct 23, '06, 5:19 pm
lonnienord lonnienord is offline
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Question Catholic Evangelism

This morning I went to a Tommy Zito Ministries meeting teaching basic evangelical evangelism. I learned lots of good things but did not feel comfortable doing street evangelism.

They were asking the question: if you die tonight will you go to heaven. If you didn’t give the answer they want (which this Catholic does not believe is the correct answer) they tried to “save” you.

While I believe everyone needs to accept JESUS as their savior, I also know it is a process not a one time thing. And I would want to guide them to the Church JESUS established so they could grow in their relationship with JESUS.

So if I do street evangelism I need to figure out how to better word the encounter. I might ask if the person knows JESUS. If not I would introduce them to HIM and HIS awesome love. And ask them if they wanted to accept JESUS as their savior. If they did I’d pray with them then I would suggest they find a church (recommending a Catholic one of course) and get baptized. If they did know JESUS I might ask if they had a growing relationship with HIM and HIS people. If so I might pray with them that those relationship continue to grow.

I do not currently feel called to do street evangelism. I do indeed understand their concern. They quoted JESUS words to love one another. And if we love one another we will want them to go to heaven. And I do indeed want that!! I do my evangelism by wearing shirts and hats proclaiming my belief in GOD. I also send Christmas cards and correspond with prisoners. I also put signs up at Lorain County Community College.

Is there a model for Catholic street evangelism? If so how can i get a hold of it?

The man explaining the process claimed that living the life as a silent witness is not enough. if he heard St. Francis quote: Preach the gospel all the time, use words if necessary, he would say it is always necessary to use words.

I tend to agree with him. I've often heard of people who discoved the church and was excited they
were joining it and shared it with a fellow worker only to find out that he was Catholic.

"I have never been able to convince myself that someone could be saved, if he has never done anything for the salvation of his brethren . . . " Saint John Chrysostom.

My favorite catholic evangelism quote comes from the Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 166: “our love for JESUS and for our neighbor impels us to speak to others about our faith!”
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  #2  
Old Oct 23, '06, 6:15 pm
Maranatha Maranatha is offline
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Default Re: Catholic Evangelism

Lots of people get turned of by people who think it's always necessary to use words.

I like the booklet from Catholic Answers, Pillar of Fire, Pillar of Truth. You can try handing that out to those interested.
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  #3  
Old Oct 23, '06, 6:51 pm
amills amills is offline
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Default Re: Catholic Evangelism

You sound like you could benefit by making yourself a mission statement regarding your faith. You could determine what exactly is the message you would like to give and then develop a method to give that message. If you are not comfortable with street evangelization then perhaps you could do another form of evangelization until you feel called to this.
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  #4  
Old Oct 23, '06, 8:37 pm
StevenS StevenS is offline
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Default Re: Catholic Evangelism

Hello Lonnienord -

I read your post and as a fellow Catholic share some of your perspectives. I too feel challenged to "Evangilize" (if that's the correct word) but haven't found THE proper method. I suspect for me and you there won't be THE correct method.

Like you, I contend that the acting out of my faith is a life process, not a one-time event, though I will quickly add many Protestants I know live their faith out loud. I suspect we just differ on the whys. (maybe on the hows, too?)

Here's a few things that have worked for me:
I've been going to Mass much more frequently. This helps me pesonally and recharges me more frequently through the graces obtained through the sacraments. Actually, I now find that I've come to love the Mass much more than previously and feel bad if I miss a day.
I've been more involved in Bible groups and have started facilitating a study group at our Catholic church with other like-minded, searching and interested Catholics.
Evangilization has become more about Christ; more about being as Christ-like as I can be. Rather than evangilizing my religion, I feel I'm representing Christ to those He has me encountering.
I've become more of a servant in my church, involving myself in other opportunities to do God's work as I hear His call.
I've modified my prayer life. I regularly ask God to use me, to keep me holy, to help me recognize how He wants me to be in all situations, to give me more wisdom and humility and to help me in my daily endeavors.
I've joined a parish prayer group to pray for the intentions of others and try to intentionally pray for other's intentions that I learn of.

As I reflect, I would say that God has answered my prayers. He is using me more, helping me to come closer to Him, I'm living more intentionally for Him and in Him. I'm not Billy Graham, nor is that my calling, but I KNOW that God is using me and I get to witness His miracles in action, which motivates (maybe encourages is the better word) me more. (a la Rom 8:28)

There are times when I release my will to His. After that, I'm just going along for the ride - and what a ride!

If there's one prayer that I tell people God will answer, it's to be used for the benefit of His kingdom - for "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few" (Lk 10:2).

I hope some of this helps you - for God has wonderful plans for you and indeed for all those who love Him!

God Bless you!
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  #5  
Old Oct 24, '06, 5:23 am
heisenburg heisenburg is offline
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Default Re: Catholic Evangelism

Agreed on wanting to evangelize... i've actually found more 'traction' when i show soemone that the logic of get down on yer knees one time and pray philosiphy is bogas. Alot of people jsut dont buy it but do becuase 'thats how they grew up'

anyway, i dont go out and do it on the streets because it IS a process. Being a guide to one or two at a time is probably better because you offer them a single point to ask questions.

As an aside... I love it when I am asked if you die today, would you be saved. I like to turn it back on them and say... Your asking the wrong question. Your focus is on YOU, not God. I like to change it by saying what they should ask is do you do everything in your life so that it is pleasing to god?

On more extreme occassions, ill go so far as to say if you died today and god sentenced you to hell would you be angry at his judgment, or rejoice because His judgement is Just. (Of coarse, if you are in such a mentality, the chances of you being sentenced to hell are pretty slim)

anyway... Always look at the question that they ask you... Who is the focus on. More often than not Evangelicals realy have the focus on the individual, and not on God. God is merely the provider of the gifts and THAT is why they think he should be praised.

FIid a way to evangilize that keeps the focus on god, not the individual

Cheers
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  #6  
Old Oct 24, '06, 5:33 am
Axion Axion is offline
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Default Re: Catholic Evangelism

A good thing to do is get people to talk about their faith (or lack of it) in an unthreatening way.

A lot of people secretly want to talk about faith but fear being pressurised by fanatics.

A good method of getting in contact with people might be setting up a leaflet or tract stall with interesting materials, and be willing to gently talk with people who show interest, and maybe lend them books, dvds etc
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  #7  
Old Oct 24, '06, 7:30 am
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Default Re: Catholic Evangelism

One thing that I think works better than all that "witnessing" on the street is to carry a few good Catholic tracts with you when you go out and just be friendly when you offer them to folks. Most often I just say, "Can I give you something to read when you get time?" and lately I've been using "Sound Bites on Salvation" by Grotto Press and they have quite a few other topical tracts that are also very good.

They even have one about Halloween that is good enough to give away with candy to Trick or Treaters. It tells what the real origins of the "All American Holiday" are.
Pax tecum,
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  #8  
Old Oct 24, '06, 8:06 am
lonnienord lonnienord is offline
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Thumbs up Re: Catholic Evangelism

wow you all have been so helpful!! Thank you for your replys!!
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  #9  
Old Oct 24, '06, 10:25 am
RyanL RyanL is offline
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Default Re: Catholic Evangelism

You could always stop people on the street and ask if they've accepted Mary as their personal mother...

God Bless,
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  #10  
Old Oct 24, '06, 8:04 pm
ReginaNova ReginaNova is offline
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Default Re: Catholic Evangelism

Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanL View Post
You could always stop people on the street and ask if they've accepted Mary as their personal mother...

God Bless,
RyanL
That is WONDERFUL! I will have to keep that one in mind. So very Catholic. Thank you.
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  #11  
Old Oct 24, '06, 9:44 pm
francisca francisca is offline
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Default Re: Catholic Evangelism

Quote:
Originally Posted by lonnienord View Post
[size=2]
So if I do street evangelism I need to figure out how to better word the encounter.
I think you have found the answer below.

Quote:
My favorite catholic evangelism quote comes from the Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 166: “our love for JESUS and for our neighbor impels us to speak to others about our faith!”
We speak about Jesus because we love to speak about him. It will automatically come out when we feel comfortable. Usually I say "thankyou Jesus" and that's all.

I evangelize my family and extended family and people whom I feel close to. I have never encounter any opportunity when I feel comfortable to street evangilize. Only if somebody come to me and ask me then I can converse with him and see how it goes.

I do admire street evangelizers though.
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  #12  
Old Oct 25, '06, 10:08 am
water water is offline
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Default Re: Catholic Evangelism

Quote:
Originally Posted by lonnienord View Post
I learned lots of good things but did not feel comfortable doing street evangelism.
Sure you could do on 'street' evangelism. For instance, at work, you show your love and care to your co-workers. On the street, if you see someone driving a bit fast, pray for that person. If you see a homeless man, help them.

Evangelism is not only about the Words but also love.
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  #13  
Old Oct 25, '06, 1:28 pm
Roman_Catholic Roman_Catholic is offline
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Default Re: Catholic Evangelism

Quote:
A good thing to do is get people to talk about their faith (or lack of it) in an unthreatening way.
Yes! I don't know about other people but about 2 years ago, before I went through the RCIA and became Catholic some non-denominational church sent a street preacher to our campus. I couldnt even talk to the guy. He wouldnt settle down so that I could discuss the questions I had. This was before I even was looking into the Catholic Church, so who knows maybe if he had taken the time to talk to me? Thank God he didnt

Some people are good at street evangelization, and are very comfortble with it, I would not be.

God Bless
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  #14  
Old Dec 3, '06, 3:31 pm
stbruno stbruno is offline
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Default Re: Catholic Evangelism

Everywhere I go, I wear a scapular and also a very shiny hologram of our Blessed Mother. You have no idea how many conversations are started by just wearing that. Plus I also wear on my coat, the little feet of a 10 wk old fetus. That starts a lot of conversations as well. People notice!

Keep praying on it!
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  #15  
Old Jun 14, '10, 7:20 am
STANMOL STANMOL is offline
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Default Re: Catholic Evangelism

remember, each of us is given a calling or charism that is unique..not all are apostles or teachers, etc. However, we all start with the basic duty to witness in how we conduct ourselves with each other and with non believers. We also must "always be ready to give an account" of the joy we have in Christ to others.

So, it is true that street preachers are insipring, and I am thinking of doing this through music with my guitar, but I am first praying about it, trusting that God will let me know if that is what I am being called to do.

Remember, Paul learned this lesson, as I once heard Bishop Sheen explain well. He spent a long time in Athens "street preaching" and debating with philosophers in the market place, and even got to give a sermon in one of their big arenas. It was a failure, because he never mentioned the Blood of Christ or the Cross. He never started up a strong church in Athens, nor do we have any record of one that lasted. The key is his comment in 1st Corinthians, wherein he reflects on his attitude having left Athens in defeat and came to Corinth:

"I was resolved to know nothing among you save Christ and Him Crucified." he goes on to disparage his own attempts at taking a philosophical approach to evangelizing.

This is what evangelism comes down to, even for Catholics. Not handing out tracts, not philosophical debate, not trying to prove a point, not asking that stupidest of all questions "would you go to heaven or hell if you died tonight," rather, converting another person is all about sharing with them the good news that Jesus Christ died for them because he loves them. Even our Catechism starts with this basic Truth. God's free gift of Grace in the Blood of Christ is ours free, if we just believe. In fact, our catechism is very, very clear that man can merit nothing apart from God.

So, really, the first question to ask is, do you believe in God's faithfulness? Do you believe that once you assent to his redeeming love on the Cross that he will guide and protect you, and pour out Grace abundantly upon you? Then just share it any of the many ways available to us. It doesn't have to be in the street. If you believe it will happen anywhere you are.
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