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Did you know that when you were baptized, you were anointed to be an evangelist? Yes, you, I and every Christian are meant to bring others into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. How do we do that?
There are as many ways as there are people to fulfill this commission from a casual conversation with a new friend to an elaborate video training ministry.
A smile is a good beginning that arouses curiosity about what makes us smile. Evangelization is as varied as television evangelists defending the faith, missionaries risking their lives to testify to their faith and save the souls of natives, and authors writing their story of how God has changed their lives.
Saint John Paul II teaches us that the most effective way to evangelize is through our personal witness. Everyone has a story.
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You have a unique story that no one else can tell that appeals to people no one else can reach. St. Peter exhorts us to:
“Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence.” (1 Peter 3:15, 16)
How do you share your story to those seeking a reason for hope? How do you help the potential convert you work with or the returning Catholic in your neighborhood draw closer to God? Or tell a troubled friend how God ‘s mercy works miracles in the hearts of each of us?
Even with the Holy Spirit’s guidance, evangelization can overwhelm you. You can wing it or you can be ready — that’s where the evangelization workshop Sharing Your Faith Story shines!
Interview of the Week
Personal evangelization was the topic of the Interview of the Week on GRN KATH 910 AM did this week. You can listen to the show here:
As Dave Palmer interviews Diane Roe and me, you will hear how the question, “How do I share my faith story?” is answered in evangelization workshops. Sharing Your Faith Story workshops begin with Mass, then a light breakfast and three talks, including two testimonies. In two breakout sessions, you will practice the evangelization skills presented in talks and testimonies.
I give my Protestant-to-Catholic conversion story. Guest speakers tell their renewal stories. We teach you the skills to share your faith story and help you practice them. Ten Tips for Sharing Your Faith Story concludes the half-day workshop. Now you are ready!
Sharing Your Faith Story helps converts, those returning to the Faith and all who experience continuous conversion to always be ready to answer the nudge of the Holy Spirit as he draws them into a closer relationship with God by sharing their story. Sharing Your Faith Story is ideal for people like you and me.
- The self-conscious teenager who committed her life to the Lord but couldn’t talk about it to anyone.
- The twenty-something who joined the Church but hesitated to share her joy with her non-Catholic family.
- Converts and returning Catholics of any age or spiritual maturity.
- Those finding a personal dimension of God’s love through a crisis, retreat or joy-filled God-moment of grace.
- Anyone in the teaching and renewal ministries that has opportunities to share their stories as part of their ministry such as RCIA, ACTS, CHRP, Bible Study leaders or youth ministers.
What you learn
Sharing Your Faith Story evangelization workshops help you:
- Experience why Saint John Paul II taught that the most effective way to evangelize is through our personal witness.
- Understand why baptized Christians are meant to be evangelists and why personal witnessing is the most effective way to evangelize.
- Connect, without preaching, what God is doing in your life with how he works miracles in the lives of each of us.
- Discover and practice a three-part structure to know, prepare and deliver your faith story, so you are always ready to share it.
- Know who you are in God so you can join others in leading the 93% of disengaged Catholics to be spiritually dynamic and engaged in your parish community.
- Witness effectively and authentically in many situations and time limitations from a two-minute elevator speech to a 40,000-page biography.
- Learn ten tips for effectively sharing a conversion, reversion or renewal story that also apply to stories of healings, miracles and answered prayers.
- Experience the reality that when you share what God is doing in your life, you see God in others and others see God in you.
- Learn to live the Scripture “Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence.” (1 Peter 3:15, 16)
Where and when
Here are the details of the current schedule of workshops:
Saturday, August 13 – St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Garland, 950 Trails Parkway, held in Curran Hall, a free event with donations appreciated. I will share my conversion story and Diane Roe her renewal story. To register, please contact Diane Salazar (972) 279-6581, ext. 19 or DianeS@Stmichaelgarland.org
Saturday, September 24 – Mary Immaculate Parish in Farmers Branch, 14032 Dennis Ln, held in the Library. I will share my conversion story and Larry Lenzen, III, his renewal story. The cost is only $10. Registration deadline is September 16. For questions or registration contact: Beth Crouch, Director of Evangelization, at 972-243-7104 ext. 46.
Come hear authentic faith stories and learn to tell yours.
Sharing Your Faith Story is available for sale on DVD in the JOYAlive.net Shop.
(© 2016 Nancy HC Ward)