Evangelization Basics [Blog Series]

Evangelization Basics

This is the official announce post of the new blog series that will cover the nuts and bolts of evangelization.

Why Evangelization?

My fascination with evangelization began almost immediately after I came back to the Church. Right away, I felt the need to help people see the awesome beauty of Catholicism. I went to Franciscan University to learn how to convert people. That’s exactly what I told the orientation team when I got there!

What I didn’t know, however, was the actual “how to” of evangelization wasn’t so easy to learn. I studied, experimented, tried new things and changed approaches many times (much to the dismay of those who worked with me). Much of what I thought would work didn’t. Often new ideas came from unexpected places. I kept what worked and discarded the rest.

What I’ve Learned

Here are some things evangelization is not:

  • Apologetics. This doesn’t mean reasoned arguments are not necessary or that apologetics isn’t important. It means most people are not argued into the Church.
  • Expounding in detail the doctrines of the Church. Evangelization is a matter of the head and the heart…in almost equal measures. Understanding what the Church teaches is essential but it’s not the only thing.
  • Catechesis. Although catechesis can (and must) be evangelizing and is a vital part of the overall strategy of evangelization, catechesis on it’s own is not evangelization.

Evangelization is not any one of these things alone but each one of them plays a part in it’s appropriate place and in the right measure. I should also say I’m talking about leading people to initial conversion, which is a crucial piece of the puzzle that’s largely missing in the Catholic Church.

10 Basics of Evangelization

What I’m going to say is not new or revolutionary. In fact, it’s in the Bible! You probably understand this intuitively. However, the fact is that most people don’t practice this stuff, so I think it’s worth writing about. All of this was revolutionary to me, and if it was news to me, then I know there are others who can benefit from this knowledge as well.

Here are 10 posts:

  1. Evangelization: The Church Ministry 700-Pound Gorilla
  2. Why Evangelization is the Key to All Effective Ministry
  3. The Two Essential Aspects of Evangelization
  4. The Secret of St. Paul’s Evangelization Strategy
  5. Teaching Catholic Truth in a Postmodern Age
  6. 5 Reasons Why Relationship is the Key to Evangelization
  7. How to Use Personal Stories to Teach Difficult Subjects
  8. 5 Questions to Ask Yourself When Crafting a Personal Story
  9. Transparency: The Motivator for Trust in Evangelization
  10. The Painless Plan for Confronting Problem Issues in Evangelization
  11. What You Need to Know About the Catholic Gospel

Image: luigi diamanti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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  1. I liked your third point on what you have learned: “Catechesis. Although catechesis can (and must) be evangelizing and is a vital part of the overall strategy of evangelization, catechesis on itu2019s own is not evangelization.” nIt seems today the need for the faith to be communicated through an evangelizing catechesis. More and more our catechesis must incorporate an evangelizing dimension/component to it.

    • That’s part of another series I want to do as well on evangelizing catechesis. I think you’re absolutely right and that’s exactly what the Church documents say. Catechesis must incorporate and element of evangelization if it’s indeed going to be effective. That’s because you’re only supposed to be catechized after you’ve been evangelized and that’s just not happening.

      • I look forward to that post. Having spent ten years as an educator I felt way too much emphasis was placed on forcing a curriculum down the throats of young people rather than a more human, organic and certainly dialectical approach which would involve more listening on the teachers part and by virtue be more evangelistic. I know more older teenage catechesis has moved in that direction, but I think we may need to get creative and consider how we might create more of a dialogue with our young people as early as middle school.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Wow, that’s organization! Looking forward to the rest.

  3. Thanks for the comments! I think you’re right. Those are the things that bring them in, and that’s nothing to be afraid of! It’s very natural to lead someone to appreciate beauty when you truly appreciate it as well. That’s what leading people into the Church is about. Showing them the beauty and wonder through your own eyes.

  4. Really looking forward to this! And I agree with Nick – I have never been that organized about anything in my life. Kudos, sir.

  5. I couldn’t agree more with your comments regarding apologetics. Certainly, an essential aspect of any evangelistic effort, but so often I see it boxed into becoming a cheat sheet of scripture passages and responses to common objections to Catholic dogma and teaching. nnI’m especially looking forward to your post on effective communication. As you said “evangelization is a matter of the head and the heart, in almost equal measures.” Which brings up the inevitable topic of resistance. Some, when presented with the Gospel are quite acquiescent. But most, and especially many of our young people are RESISTANT to that message. And as much time and effort as we put into “sharpening our apologetic sword” I’m afraid that for too long now its been at the expense of not learning enough about human resistance which can occur in all four domains: intellectual, emotional, spiritual and physical. Too much evangelization is aimed soley at the intellect with, as you seem to imply, an occasional nod toward the heart. nPerhaps in this “new evangelization” we can devote more energy and resources to listening to people with an ear for the nature of their resistance and meeting them and loving them there first. nnEnough of my rant. Great stuff brother! Thanks for providing this forum for this worthwhile discussion!

    • Thanks for the comments Roy! I think apologetics knowledge is good to have, but you have to pull it out at the right time and in the right place. It’s not what you start with. nnThis idea of dealing with resistance is very key. I think you’re right that we spend too much time on dealing with the arguments and not enough time on understanding the people in front of us. I think I’d like to delve more into dealing with different types of resistance at some point as well. Very good ideas.

  6. Thanks Sharon. I think that’s true, it does change depending on the group. The one on one aspect is very important as well. There are some things I’ve found that seem to apply to most groups but still with a mind to the individual’s needs as well.


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