Pop-Up Catechesis: Who Do You Follow?

There are leaders, and there are followers. It’s important to know that being a follower is not a bad thing—that is, as long as you are following the right person or thing! Disciples are basically followers. To be a disciple is to adhere to the teachings of someone. In the Gospels, anyone who adheres to the teachings of Jesus is referred to as a disciple. Today, the Church is calling each of us to discipleship—to […]

Professional Development Workshop: Reclaiming the Fire

In her book, Start with Jesus, friend, author, speaker, and evangelist Julianne Stanz states that “too often our approach to our faith lacks the fire or energy that it deserves,” and she issues a call for us to “reclaim the fire.” Faith formation programs can provide the spark needed to ignite this blaze! In a new, free professional development workshop, Reclaiming the Fire: Six Keys to Making Our Faith Formation More Evangelizing—which can be found below—I offer […]

Preparing Hearts and Minds Strategy 9: Empower Disciples to Evangelize

Welcome to the final installment of our summer series, Preparing Hearts and Minds: 9 Simple Ways for Catechists to Cultivate a Living Faith. Strategy #9: Empower disciples to evangelize. Hardly anyone purchases anything online these days without first reading the customer reviews. Satisfied customers are eager to leave glowing reviews, which often include personal stories about how they have successfully used a product or resource in their own situation, in hopes that others in similar […]

Preparing Hearts and Minds Strategy 8: Build and Deepen Commitment

Welcome to the penultimate installment of our summer series, Preparing Hearts and Minds: 9 Simple Ways for Catechists to Cultivate a Living Faith, based on my book of the same name. Strategy #8: Build and deepen commitment. Many advertisements not only entice us to purchase a product, but they invite us to re-prioritize our lives around an idea. Some of the best examples of this are diet plans, which are no longer just about losing a […]

Preparing Hearts and Minds Strategy 7: Aim for the Heart

In this installment of our summer series, Preparing Hearts and Minds: 9 Simple Ways for Catechists to Cultivate a Living Faith, we look at strategy #7, aiming for the heart. Strategy #7: Aim for the Heart! In his research about why some things “go viral” on social media, author Jonah Berger discovered that one of the main reasons is that the item provokes emotion, whether good or bad. Think about it: if you had a nickel […]

Preparing Hearts and Minds Strategy 6: Invite, Invite, Invite!

As we continue our summer series, Preparing Hearts and Minds: 9 Simple Ways for Catechists to Cultivate a Living Faith, we come to strategy #6. Strategy #6: Invite, invite, invite! Ultimately, an advertisement is an invitation; after presenting all the information about their amazing product or service, the sponsors invite potential customers to join “other satisfied customers.” They then provide a phone number, a website address, and convenient locations so that potential customers can avoid being left out. […]

Preparing Hearts and Minds Strategy 5: Proclaim the Resurrection as the Cause of Our Joy

As we continue our summer series, Preparing Hearts and Minds: 9 Simple Ways for Catechists to Cultivate a Living Faith, we come to strategy #5. Strategy #5: Proclaim the Resurrection as the cause of our joy. One of the most often-used phrases in TV commercials is, “But wait, there’s more!” Just when you think you’ve heard it all and that it can’t get any better, the seller doubles down and tells you that it’s about to get […]

Preparing Hearts and Minds Strategy 4: Invite a Leap of Faith

As we continue our summer series, Preparing Hearts and Minds: 9 Simple Ways for Catechists to Cultivate a Living Faith, we explore apprenticing those we teach in laying down their lives for others. Strategy #4: Invite a leap of faith. It is a fairly common practice in advertising to garner attention by making a claim about a product or service that is counterintuitive and requires a “leap of faith.” For example: a diet plan promises that you […]

Preparing Hearts and Minds Strategy 3: Proclaim Jesus’ Mighty Deeds

As we continue our summer series, Preparing Hearts and Minds: 9 Simple Ways for Catechists to Cultivate a Living Faith (drawing from my new book of the same name), we move on to strategy #3. Strategy #3: Proclaim Jesus’ mighty deeds. Many ads and TV commercials include a claim about the product or resource being sold, followed by testimonials from satisfied customers, and finally an invitation to potential customers to “find out what _____ can do for you!” This strategy […]

Preparing Hearts and Minds Strategy 2: Introduce Jesus as Someone You Can Trust

As we continue our summer series, Preparing Hearts and Minds: 9 Simple Ways for Catechists to Cultivate a Living Faith (based on my new book of the same name), we explore establishing a climate of trust. Strategy #2: Introduce Jesus as someone you can trust. Advertisements seek to gain your trust. The goal is to convince you that your money will be well-spent on whatever product or service is being sold. In a similar way, […]

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