Evangelism, The Lost Art, and how I've become involved

Growing up in the Northeast of the United States, I’ve always associated the term “evangelism” with the people who go door to door a few times every year, and the people you see on street corners in cities telling you to repent and save yourself from hell. So naturally, I was predisposed to believing that evangelism was something unnecessary, outdated, and plain idiotic.
That was until this year.
One of my good friends asked me to go to a meeting for a non-denominational Christian group on my campus-- Young Life. I had no idea what I was in for.
I soon learned that Young Life was an organization that *introduces *high school students all over the world to the person of Jesus Christ. A few months later I became involved in the ministry.

The following passages often comes to my mind when I am working with the high school students in my area.

1 Corinthians 9:19-22
For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, that I might win the more.
To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews; to those under the law I became as one under the law – though not being myself under the law – that I might win those under the law.
To those outside the law I became as one outside the law – not being without law toward God but under the law of Christ – that I might win those outside the law.
To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

As a Young Life leader, I know that high school students have absolutely no reason to listen to a bunch of random college students. So, my team works extremely hard to build relationships with high school students every week. One of those days each week involves us meeting at a student’s house to hold “club.” This is the time every week where we get together, do some crazy and oftentimes messy activities with the kids. We sing songs, and at the end of every night, we close by relating a scripture passage to our life and theirs.

So, are there any other people here on the forum’s involved in a similar ministry? I know as Catholics, the concept of evangelism is often foreign to us. I really think that it’s time to change that. :slight_smile:

(Side note: For those of you wondering, I did mention that Young Life is non-denominational. There are both Catholics and Protestant leaders. It is Young Life’s policy that leaders do not attempt to make anyone join any specific church. In fact, usually we encourage student’s to attend whatever church their family attends. If their family does not have a church, then we may be able to make recommendations based on that student’s beliefs. For more info: Young Life’s Website)

I’m wondernig if you’d consider bringing a similar ministry to the Catholic teens in your parish?

If there were an organization in my area that afforded me the opportunity, I would certainly be interested. Unfortunately, where I attend college, this is one of the few organizations doing God’s work. And believe me, we reach kids weekly who would have no idea about His Word because of the apathetic culture that saturates their daily experiences.

I should note, that a big thing with Young Life is the goal to reach those who have never been “on the inside.” “On the outside,” meaning that they have never really fully belonged to any faith community. (I honestly had some doubts about this because I have been “on the inside” my whole life, baptized into Catholic Church as a baby). We literally introduce kids to Jesus and scripture every week. So, Young Life really isn’t there to replace other youth ministries (like a youth group), its there to get kids started and hopefully build up a good enough foundation to take Jesus alongside them as they become adults and move off to the working world or college!

Believe me, if there was a Catholic organization in my area (at home or at college) doing similar work, I would jump on it. Right now, Young Life is by far the best opportunity I have to serve while I am away at college! :slight_smile:

THANK YOU for your gift of evangelization.

Dear Musicality…
Have you thought about volunteering at your local college parish in their Youth ministry program? Teen life should be similar to what you are doing. These teens need to hear the reality of the saving Grace of our Lord. They may be on the “inside” but not able to apply it to their lives.

Thanks be to God that you are bold in the sharing of His love! I will pray for you and your ministry.

Just as a precaution, remember that many non-denominational Christian communities do not consider Catholics to be Christians and may be unfamiliar or even hostile to church teaching.

Crystal

First of all thanks for the prayers!

I haven’t had the chance to check out the youth ministry at the local church (although I go there every Sunday instead of the one on campus); however, I’ll be sure to check it out next semester. There are some complicated logistical issues that may prevent me from helping out there, but we’ll see!

Also, don’t worry, every Young Life leader in my area absolutely knows that I am Catholic. (I even had one of the kids I was working with ask me one time because he noticed the crucifix that I wear.)

EDIT: BTW, is anyone here involved in a similar ministry?!

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.