You might have caught our recent webinar – The Simple Discipline of Evangelization with Pat Lencioni and Fr. Michael Fye. If you haven’t gotten around to watching it yet, it’s a valuable use of an hour for you, your parish staff, and any teams you lead within the parish.
At the heart of this conversation is the fundamental truth that effective evangelization can be refreshingly simple and does not require a Ph. D. or extensive strategic planning. It takes individuals who are receptive to the Holy Spirit and willing to be slightly uncomfortable at times to share faith with others.
So, then what keeps us from consistently evangelizing in a simple and effective way? There are three common temptations that parish leaders fall into when it comes to parish evangelization:
Temptation 1: Turning Evangelization into a Program
When leaders fall into this trap, faith sharing between parishioners often loses the relational aspect which makes it most impactful. Programs can become more about registration, logistics, and getting through material than genuine conversations and prayer. This can also limit growing together in faith to meeting times instead of conveying that these types of conversations are natural and encouraged all the time.
Temptation 2: Shiny Object Syndrome
Other leaders will jump into a faith sharing initiative quickly and passionately, but will promptly move on to something else feeling that they have “already done that.” Evangelization in a parish, whether between parish leaders or parishioners, is an ongoing consistent process. It is never complete. It’s never time to “move on.”
Temptation 3: Giving in to Discouragement
If you’ve shared your faith with someone and received very little response or even rejection, it can be difficult to continue on with zeal. The Lord had great wisdom in sending his disciples out two by two for ministry. At times of discouragement, do you have a fellow disciple who can pray for and encourage you? Finding someone like this is so important and can make all the difference between discouragement and courage.
If you and your parish team can keep evangelization simple in your community, thousands of people will come to know God’s love through you! Thank you for your leadership!
The Amazing Parish Team
Take a moment to reflect on your own disposition towards evangelizing.
- Which of these three temptations is the biggest challenge for you? Why?
- What resolution will you make in order to overcome this obstacle? Write it down.
- Share your response with a fellow team member or parish leader and ask how you can support them in their own.