Here are some excellent and proven evangelization & catechesis strategies. At the end, I”ll tell you where they are from and you will probably be surprised.
- Appeal to young people since youth is a time of idealism.
- Make demands on people and you will get a heroic response.
- Convince people that change is necessary and that they can contribute toward changing the world.
- Attract people not only by words but by action.
- Make sure your message relates to everyday life.
- Deliberately and immediately “send” people into action that they view as “heroic.”
- Offer instruction that inspires and changes lives.
- Make sure instruction is linked with action and equip people for action.
- Present your message in such a way as to require lives to be transformed.
- Emphasize that you have a vested interest in alleviating human suffering.
- Convince people that you are inviting them to fight against forces that are monstrously evil.
- Pass on ideas in the simplest language possible for them to understand.
- Make effective use of small groups to bring people a sense of belonging and unity.
- Do not “bash” people (instead of trying to prove others wrong, seek to find a point of contact with them and then try to build on the area of sympathetic interest and agreement).
- Bring people to the conclusion that you and those above you in the organization truly care.
- You must be seen as authentic.
- Discover the needs of the people and then come before them as their “champion.”
- Develop leaders. It’s no use trying to develop techniques and strategies if you’re not developing leaders.
- Use simple ideas to motivate people to action.
- To teach others, you just have to know a little bit more than them. You can always tell them you will get the answer next time if you don’t know.
- Identify with those to whom you “preach.”
- Use every technique and medium available to you.
- Each generation must be evangelized anew.
So where do these effective strategies come from? The Paulists? The Knights of Columbus? The New Evangelization?
Would you believe the Communist Party?
Now, don’t panic, I’m not going Communist on you! I’m summarizing the strategies shared by Douglas Hyde in his book Dedication and Leadership which I mentioned in a previous post. In his book, Hyde, who, in 1948, renounced Communism (after serving in the Party for 20 years) and embraced Catholicism, asserts: “I do not believe the strength of Communism lies in the strength of its ideas. I believe, as any Christian must, that Christianity has something infinitely better to offer than has Communism. Yet, it is they who have been able to influence our generation much more profoundly than we have. In my experience, the strength of Communism lies in its people and the way in which they are used. It is at this level that Communists have the most to teach us. They use well the human material at their disposal. Most often non-Communists do not.”
For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. (Luke 16:8)