How to Tell the World that You Love Jesus

How to Tell the World that You Love Jesus October 17, 2015
Photo courtesy of Nancy Ward
Photo courtesy of Nancy Ward

Evangelization is not only awkward to say, most of us find it awkward to do.

It’s all very well to talk about converting this culture. But how do we do that? Is there a roadmap somewhere to help us on our way to this worthy goal?

Most Catholics are considerate of others. We don’t go door to door on Saturday mornings, rousting people out of bed to ask them where they think they will go when they die. Neither do we dominate dinner parties and family gatherings with demands that our friends and family call the local parish and sign up for RCIA.

We do our best to live and let live. We carry this to the point that we often let internet bullies defame both us and our Church without arguing back.

So, given all that, how are ordinary pew-sitting Catholics going to convert this culture? That’s an important question because, if this culture gets converted, it will be by ordinary pew-sitting Catholics. Priests are preoccupied with running parishes, editing magazines, running universities and dealing with Church administration. Not only that, but they clearly don’t have any better idea how to convert people out there in the hustings than we do.

I see the priests’ role as empowering and equipping the laity to do the work of converting the culture. I see our role as the laity as living our faith in the world, taking the brickbats that go with that, staying faithful and, yes, converting the culture, one step, one person, at a time. No one of us is going to convert this culture. But if we each do our part and we do it every day, we can get there.

The question underneath this remains. How do we convert the world, one person at a time?

I’m talking about a kind of relational conversion that Catholics have pretty much left out of their spiritual kit bag. What has happened is that the laity thinks that conversion is the priest’s job, and the priest thinks that his job is running the parish 24/7.

Let’s cut to the chase here and acknowledge that we, the laity, have the job of converting the culture.

That’s number one.

Next, let’s go about the business of figuring out how to actually do that. By that I mean, let’s start the work of brainstorming for ideas about how we can go about this eternity work that has been given to us.

My fellow Catholic writer, Nancy Ward, has authored a CD which starts the ball rolling in that direction. It’s a three-parter titled Sharing Your Faith Story that begins with Nancy’s own faith story and ends with ideas for how to share your faith story. I think that’s a great place to start the work of converting the culture because each one of us has a faith story, and that faith story is our personal witness to the truth of Christ. For almost all of us, our faith story is a love story, and that makes it even more powerful.

We need to learn how to tell this powerful story of love between us and our Jesus. That’s the first step toward leading others to a love story of their own.

Nancy is running a contest in which you can win a free copy of her CD. Go here for details. To learn more about the CD, check out an interview Nancy gave here. Or, you can buy the CD on Amazon.

Evangelization may be an awkward word to say, but it doesn’t have to feel awkward to do. We just need to put our heads together and figure out how to do it well. The first step is to learn how to tell our faith stories. Our individual faith story is our personal witness of what we believe and why we believe it. Nancy’s CD can help us learn to tell our faith stories, and that is the beginning of converting this culture.

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5 responses to “How to Tell the World that You Love Jesus”

  1. I can tell you I’ve had my share of fighting those people who defame Catholicism. And I haven’t been so Christian in my rebuttal. I don’t personally care if someone doesn’t find Catholicism to their understanding, but when some ignorant person makes some slander against my faith i get all riled up.
    As to evangelizing, I’m not good at it. I usually direct them to Scott Hahn’s books and videos. He’s the best.

    • Scott and Kimberly Hahn’s books and tapes were instrumental in my conversion. I heard about them from a pro-life Catholic priest in Boston who
      had a radio program on an A.M. station that was broadcast in Salt Lake City where I was a delivery driver using a van with only A.M. radio. That wily God of ours.
      When I went to a Catholic bookstore to buy a rosary I was really impressed by something the clerk said.
      She described the Rosary as prayers, meditations on the life of “Our Lord”, as a protestant I had always heard and said, “The Lord”.
      That one brief comment impressed me greatly and made me feel welcome.

  2. I don’t respond well to proselytizing and I think most people don’t like being someone’s project. Mine was a long and winding road to the Catholic Church.
    God was very patient with me. He’s like that, you know. He led me into situations where I was exposed to Catholic stuff. Some of it He pert near dropped into my lap.
    If it had been left up to individual Catholics to bring me to the Truth I’d probably still be an evangelical protestant.
    If someone is expressing their faith naturally in a naturally occurring setting I’m much more inclined to listen to them than if they’re wearing name badges and reciting a memorized speech.
    People these days are pretty saavy, they can spot insincerity and
    hypocrisy a mile away.
    I remember talking to people about Jesus while I was swilling beer and passing joints. Even when someone seemed to be listening, they saw my behavior and probably filed me under “H” for hypocrite. Hopefully God used even a very flawed person like me to plant a seed.

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