Everyday Evangelization: Make Proclaiming the Good News a New Year’s Resolution

Too often, we think of evangelization as something done by either professionals or fanatics. We can’t see ourselves going door-to-door or walking up to people and asking them if they’ve been saved or have encountered Christ. But there are other ways of evangelizing in our everyday lives. In my book, Under the Influence of Jesus: The Transforming Experience of Encountering Christ, I talk about a evangelizing strategy that I refer to as “spiritual residue”—leaving traces […]

Parent Sacramental Prep and Evangelization Videos

Even before the pandemic hit, many catechetical ministers were reimagining their approaches to faith formation, with an eye toward a greater emphasis on evangelization. Of the many opportunities available to us to evangelize, one prominent one is parent sacramental preparation gatherings. Recently, I was asked by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to put together three videos on the topic of sacramental preparation as an opportunity for evangelization with an emphasis on First […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: The Lessons of the Magi at Epiphany

As we look forward to the Feast of the Epiphany, it’s important to realize that this is much more than a sentimental Christmas story for children, and its message isn’t limited to the notion that Jesus, the Savior, is revealed to the whole world, as critical as that point is. In this story, we also find a model for discipleship in the Magi (aka, the Three Wise Men or Three Kings). In this episode of Pop-Up […]

Accompaniment: Giving People the “Time of Day”

In the new Directory for Catechesis, there is a good amount of attention devoted to the notion of accompaniment. This is not surprising, since Pope Francis used the phrase “the art of accompaniment” in his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium. But what exactly does accompaniment look like? Simply put, to accompany someone is to give that person the “time of day”—a phrase we use to describe acknowledging someone and giving that someone our attention. It is to […]

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. […]

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