While at the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, I had the pleasure of listening to a keynote delivered by Rev. Anthony Gittins, CSSp on the Urgency of Discipleship and Evangelization. In his talk, Fr. Gittins made some excellent points about evangelization. First, he identified 4 requirements for evangelization:
- Witness (which he says is “proclamation with our mouths shut!” – I love it!)
- Dialogue (with an emphasis on listening)
He also went on to explain that our evangelization must imitate Jesus’ approach which he said can be characterized by the following:
- ENCOUNTER – Jesus didn’t just talk at people from a distance. He encountered them. Jesus didn’t love “the poor.” Jesus encountered people who were poor and loved them.
- TABLE FELLOWSHIP – Jesus practised a radical inclusion that was scandalous to many because table fellowship puts everyone at the same level.
- FOOT WASHING – Whereas table fellowship places all of our heads at the same level, foot washing lowers our head beneath that of those we serve.
- CROSSING BOUNDARIES – Jesus ventured beyond the established boundaries (e.g. into Samaritan territory) to minister to people unlike himself. We need to minister to people who are not like ourselves.
Very inspiring thoughts! Thanks Fr. Gittins!