Catholics try their hand at old-fashioned evangelism
From Religion News Services 26 April 2013 -
SHREWSBURY, Mo – Catholics try their hand at old-fashioned evangelism. On a recent rainy Saturday, about 125 Catholics packed a basement conference room, many of them older, most of them lay people. Many were representing their parishes. They gathered here to learn how to spread the faith, a concept that is both fundamental to Christianity and nearly foreign to modern Roman Catholics.
For the first hour of the conference, Kenneth Livengood, a parishioner at Holy Trinity Parish in St. Ann, Mo., detailed one way — door-to-door evangelization, a missionary strategy more familiar to Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses.
“We’ve been tricked into thinking faith is a private matter,” Livengood told the audience. “That’s a lie. Faith is meant to be public, and there are many ways to share it.”
He taught them how to form a door-to-door ministry, explained how to divide a boundary map of their parish into geographical sections, suggested useful handouts, gave safety tips, and showed videos that detailed the best way to respond to various reactions from those on the other side of the door.
“Divide up into teams of two,” Livengood said. “One of you can do the talking and the other should be a silent prayer warrior. At the next house, flip your roles.”
The suggestions include:
- “Ask each person you meet if they are in need of prayer.”
- “Early Saturday mornings may not make for the most receptive ears.”
- “Trying to provide too many facts about the Church may cause misunderstandings.”
- “Doing a little role-playing before going out for visits may be helpful.”
- “Sometimes a person answering the door thinks getting back to regular Mass attendance would make their grandmothers very happy, which might present a welcoming start for conversation.”
Going door to door “is not really a Catholic practice that we’ve done often in the past,” said the Rev. Stephen Bevans, professor of mission and culture at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. “There have been so many of us we haven’t had to do it.”
Whole Story: Religion News Service