Let’s face it.
Most Catholics aren’t ready to do what only they can: reach the people all around them with the good news of Jesus Christ.
Catholics are in college classes, at work, in neighborhoods, clubs, sports and everywhere our lives take us, but we rarely feel inspired to reach out and take risks for the sake of the lost sheep Jesus loves and longs for.
People change within trusting relationships that open the door to sharing life (1 Thessalonians 2:8). Pastoral staff aren’t positioned to form those relationships. Only laity can.
. . . great riches are waiting to be discovered through an intensification of the missionary effort of each of the lay faithful. Such an individual form of apostolate can contribute greatly to a more extensive spreading of the Gospel, indeed it can reach as many places as there are daily lives of individual members of the lay faithful… the lay faithful will be able to reach the hearts of their neighbors, friends, and colleagues, opening them to a full sense of human existence, that is, to communion with God and with all people.
St. Pope John Paul II, Christifideles Laici, 28
The lay faithful have the riches necessary to be fruitful in this missionary effort. Baptism anoints us, the Eucharist sustains us, and Confirmation empowers us for precisely this mission. We all need for the sacramental graces received in the Church to be unleashed for the world, though, through strengthened faith and inspired will.
We can live the Church’s vision when Jesus’ heart for the lost becomes our heart, too. His love makes us true shepherds, ready and willing to leave the 99 for the 1 alone in fear and darkness.
Your ministry can inspire Catholics for this kind of dynamic Jesus-driven evangelization. We can help you do it.
College students and parishioners need more than inspiration alone to “reach the hearts of their neighbors, friends and colleagues.” (St. Pope John Paul II, Christifideles Laici, 28)
They need skills, and they need to be growing as disciples through intentional, progressive discipleship formation.
Disciples naturally overflow with the love of God known in Jesus. (“. . . from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks.” Matthew 12:34). When trained for mission, disciples are unstoppable.
To create a culture of witness, we must live explicit lives of discipleship…. One seeking to learn how to be a disciple of Christ does so through apprenticeship…. The parish must provide formed disciples who can accompany those who are returning to the Church and guide them throughout their journey. Apprenticeship “links an experienced Christian believer, or mentor, with one who seeks a deeper relationship with Christ and the Church….” It is a school for discipleship….
“Disciples Called to Witness,” USCCB Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis, 2012
Our goal is to help you, leaders in the local church, build thriving, fruitful, and self-sustaining evangelistic ministries.
Until you can fly solo, we help you form disciples, train leaders, and create and implement a highly contextualized site-specific strategic ministry process to make discipleship the inevitable outcome for anyone who becomes involved in your ministry.
The amount of time that takes and the kind of training that requires depends on your ministry. That’s why we develop agreements specific to each ministry partner.
When you feel confident your ministry can do everything you want for evangelization in perpetuity, we’re able move on elsewhere and help someone else make the new evangelization a reality, too.
Even after we no long serve your ministry regularly, you may still need events, webinars, and occasional phone conference calls to support your ministry. The EC offers many ongoing training programs from a variety of platforms, and is developing more tools all the time to help ministries succeed long-term.
We know leading a ministry of evangelization is challenging. We’re here to support you.
“An evangelizing community is also supportive, standing by people at every step of the way, no matter how difficult or lengthy this may prove to be.” Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, 24