I know CA has a lot of great apologists who can teach us the why’s of our faith, biblical proof, etc., but are there any speakers (CA or otherwise) who teach the “art” of evangelization - how to initiate conversations, when to initiate them, how to turn a discussion or argument into an evangelization opportunity - this goes beyond “knowing the answers” - but gets into personalities, temperaments, lead-in questions and phrases, how to engage and not offend, etc. I think workshops and role playing on this topic would fill a tremendous need. Any thoughts?
I would also love to know that! Hope somebody sees this thread who does.
In our diocese, probably like many you may have a dept.of Evangelization. Fr. Jordan Kelly is the new contact person in our diocese and he has amazing information on how to evangelize. Check out your diocesan directory. Here is our’s.
D****epartment of Evangelization, Catechesis and Worship **
Director: Rev. Richard Hynes **
“The Church exists in order to evangelize.” “Catechesis is a remarkable moment in the whole process of evangelization.” The Department of Evangelization, Catechesis and Worship provides administrative support for the Archbishop in his duty as teacher of the faith and pastor of the faithful. It is responsible for the coordination of the evangelical, catechetical, and ecumenical dimensions of the mission of this local church. It also works closely with those others charged by the Archbishop with the coordination of the liturgical and pastoral life of the Church of Chicago. Through the staffs of its agencies and offices, it offers a wide variety of services to parishes, institutions of higher education and ecumenical organizations in the Archdiocese. It seeks to promote and enhance the ministries of evangelization, catechesis and worship in all their forms.
155 E. Superior St.
Chicago, IL 60611
Fax (312) 751-3856
Thank you for the Chicago information. It appears from the lack of posts to this thread, that teaching the “art” side of evangelization hasn’t yet caught on. But in my experience, this is just as important as knowing the answers. We need to know HOW to present those answers in a non-confrontational way, and how to initiate conversations so we engage people.
Sounds like a great new venue for CA to investigate getting involved in…
I could only dream of such a ministry here…
If you go to biblechristiansociety.com/ John Martignoni has a talk you can download. The one I am thinking of specifically is Apologetics for the Scripturally Challenged. I found that to be very useful because he gives you specific pointers on how to respond to questions about your faith from a variety of different angles. It is definitely worth a listen to.
I have that cd and it’s definitely a good starting point, but I’m hoping for something that goes beyond what he says and goes more into developing a conversational tone, how to take part in a discussion of non-Catholics when they start talking about their religious beliefs (and do it in a non-offenseive but confident way), how to engage ex-Catholics, and even knowing when to just shut up for awhile and let your words sink in and the Holy Spirit work.
As much as I hate role-playing seminars, etc. I really feel as if a role-playing seminar is about the only way to learn and practice this art. And, even though I LOVE John, he can come across as very confrontational in his writings and his tone. This works okay on paper and even in debates sometimes, but it rarely gets you very far with an anti-Catholic or ex-Catholic who has “issues” with the Church.
Personally I’m really not into guides that tell you how to do simple things, like converse. (I can’t even stand the idea of a “communications” major in college!). But I would appreciate, perhaps, a compilation of tips on how to get a conversation going; how to break the “religious ice,” so to speak.
Talk to a Baptist minister and watch how he evangelizes… no seriously… I had a speech class that was taught by a Baptist minister… He didn’t tell us that was his primary job until later… but after his lectures you wanted to jump up and shout Alleluia, Amen Brother! I hung on his every word to learn as much as I could from him… he was a totally excellent teacher!!!
I ended up doing so good in this class he video taped some of my speeches and now uses them for teaching his speech class!!!
I used to feel this way too, but then I started noticing the huge difference between the conversation/evangelization skills of fundamentalist and baptist preachers (BlestOne’s last post was very timely) and the majority of Catholic priests I know and learned that many non-Catholic ministers spend a HUGE amount of time in seminary learning how to do the “simple” things - such as give sermons, converse and evangelize. It’s a simple concept that in many people needs to be a practiced skill - and it’s not only lacking in our clergy, but in our laity as well.
This is true. Don’t get me wrong- I don’t mean to say such simple skills are easy ones to master at all! Quite the contrary… public speaking in particular is one of the most difficult. But what I mean is that reading books on it doesn’t help much. The good public speaking instructors will do a lot less instruction than they will simply encourage practice and criticize/praise it. The last public speaking course I took in college, I wasn’t doing too well in the beginning, then I stopped bothering to read the textbook and started actually practicing speaking with that same time, and started getting the highest ranks.
I completely agree. There are a lot of books, cd, etc. out there on what to say and even how to say it, but like you said, reading books just doesn’t get at this “art”. It needs to be practiced and critiqued. As I said in my first post, I don’t like role-playing classes and seminars, but this is one topic I would gladly “buck it up’” for so I could do as you say - practice - and do it in front of an experienced apologist and evangelist who can point out how I could do better in delivering what I’m saying.
That’s why just listening to a speaker from CA doesn’t get at the heart of what I’m talking about. Once we have the apologetic knowledge in our head, we need a teacher to take it to the next step and offer a hands-on workshop that gives us various scenarios to practice in and offer critiques on how we’re doing.
Definitely… hopefully people who see this thread know of some more resources like these!
Patrick Madrid would be a great one for this.
One thing to keep in mind as you look for resources to teach you how to evangelize is that evangelizing is not merely a matter of acquiring skills, but in its totality is a way of living. It is a matter of living one’s faith much more than speaking about it. As St. Francis is supposed to have said, “At all times preach the Gospel. When necessary, use words.” I would also point out that these very posts on this site is a method of evangelizing and your words and the way you write them could lead someone to the Lord, or deter them in a different direction. I find it very exciting to know that so many Catholics take their faith seriously enough to want to tell others about it. I’m a new member on this web site, but to discover so many Catholics talking about and seeking ways to improve their relationship with the Lord gives me goose bumps. I feel like Scrooge on Christmas morning!
Disciples in Mission
is the evangelization program adopted and promoted by the Diocese of Brownsville and the training this past and coming year, leading up to the 3rd Lent of the series, is in specifically how to do door to door and person to person evangelization. they have brought in several outside speakers for this training who have been excellent.
This organization is rated “yellow” on www.catholicculture.org
Is their review accurate from what you know?
In Crossing the Threshold of Hope,Pope John Paul II wisely notes that it’s possible for all folks with partial knowledge of The Truth to come to the full knowledge of TheGospel Truth revealed by The Lord through His Church.
Everyone is on their own journey to The Truth, and you may help someone climb just one rung on the ladder, or you may be the one to catch the fish. You do not have to clean the fish before you catch it since that is The Holy Spirit’s job.
Always pray for the words that will reach your field of harvest before and after you speak to them.
How you evangelize always depends on how The Holy Spirit leads you to chat with your audience. Unless you are on a one-day or one-week mission trip, first, you should earn the right to care-front the person by making friends with them and getting to know them.
Always give them the choice to accept the message, or even part of the message and give them a connection to The Truth and various resources to continue their search.
You speak differently to folks you will only see once than you do to folks you meet at work daily. You also speak differently to members of religions that believe in one creator God than those who believe that God’s created things can be gods. That’s why Catholic Answers has provided research for witnessing tofolks of various faiths / levels.
Keep practicing! Someone’s Eternal Life depends on it.
On the Vatican website, you will find many papal encyclicals on evangelism.
[FONT=Tahoma]****[/FONT][FONT=Tahoma]Subject: EVANGELICA TESTIFICATIO[/FONT]
APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION OF HIS HOLINESS PAUL VI
******ON THE RENEWAL OF THE RELIGIOUS LIFE ACCORDING TO
THE TEACHING OF THE SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL
On his first apostolic visit to Poland on June 9, 1979, Pope John Paul II in Nowa Huta vehemently lifted the Cross and, deeply moved, proclaimed,"******A New Evangelization has begun!"
This was the first time he used the term “new evangelization”.******
Way of the Master is excellent for this. I lead the evangelism team at our church and I’ve heard so many people say that they were never able to share the Gospel before they started listening to WoTM.
You might also want to check out adventuresinchristianity.com, a website for street evangelists.
It features numerous videos, blogs, message boards, etc, to help you learn to share the Gospel.