Forming Discipleship Among Your Catechetical Team

Our parishes include people in all stages of their faith journey. While each Christian shares certain characteristics in their spirituality as children of God, there are differences. Every person’s spirituality is unique, because each of us is a unique human being. Differences can depend on education, formation, geographical location, age, ethnic background, and so on. Each of us is at a different stage of growth in our spiritual life. How can catechetical leaders accommodate catechists […]

Service as a Catalyst for Missionary Discipleship

The corporal works of mercy play an important part in discipleship. When acts of service are planned to intentionally proclaim the Gospel and treat all people as if they were Jesus in disguise (see Matthew 25:34–40), they are a catalyst for initial and ongoing conversion. In her wisdom, the Church outlines a systematic and comprehensive process of evangelization and faith formation that nurtures conversion. This process of evangelization includes the following five stages. Pre-evangelization Initial […]

How to Be a More Evangelizing Catechist #9: Mentor Apprentices

I often tell my audiences about the book Creating Customer Evangelists by Jackie Huba and Ben McConnell, not because I think they should read it, but because, as Catholics, we should be aware of the fact that a book that has nothing to do with faith, religion, or spirituality is using the word evangelists! The premise of the book is that customers should be so enamored with your product or service that they will become “outspoken […]

How to Be a More Evangelizing Catechist #8: Build and Deepen Commitment

Many advertisements not only entice you to purchase a product, but they invite you to re-prioritize your life around an idea. Some of the best examples of this are diet plans, which are no longer just about losing a few pounds but are about adopting a new lifestyle. When I stroll into the kitchen at Loyola Press during lunch time, I see numerous people meticulously preparing their dishes according to the philosophy and strategy of […]

How to Be a More Evangelizing Catechist #7: Touch 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 for each post you’ve seen about a cute kitten, you’d be rich! People share things that make others reach for a tissue. By the same token, negative emotions can result in sharing, such as when a […]

How to Be a More Evangelizing Catechist #6: Invite! Invite! Invite!

Ultimately, a TV commercial is an invitation: after presenting to you all of the information about their amazing product or service, the sponsors invite you to join “other satisfied customers.” They then provide you with a phone number, a website address, and convenient locations so that you can avoid being left out. At the heart of Jesus’ message is an invitation. In fact, the Gospels tell us that Jesus was constantly inviting people to follow […]

How to Be a More Evangelizing Catechist #5: Proclaim That Jesus Is Alive!

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 even better—beyond your wildest dreams! (“Order now and get a second set free!”) In our proclamation of the Gospel, we have a “But wait, there’s more!” moment: the Resurrection of Jesus Christ! Just when […]

How to Be a More Evangelizing Catechist #4: Don’t Avoid the Cross

It is a fairly common practice in advertising to garner attention by making a claim about a product or service that is counterintuitive or defies commonly accepted reasoning. For example: a diet plan promises that you can lose weight in 30 days while eating all the bacon you want; a light beer promises robust flavor with only 64 calories; a body lotion promises to physically reshape your body; a bracelet promises to relieve arthritic pain. […]

How to Be a More Evangelizing Catechist #3: Proclaim Jesus’ Mighty Deeds

Some years ago, TV commercials for a food-processing appliance proudly proclaimed that this new innovation “slices, dices, and makes Julienne Fries!” Today, that phrase continues to be used, tongue-in-cheek, to convince people of the amazing capabilities of any new gadget and is emblematic of what we refer to as the advertising “claim”—the part of the ad that seeks to create a perception of superiority. It is the job of the advertiser to then convince consumers […]

How to Be a More Evangelizing Catechist #2: Introduce Jesus as Savior

We began our series on how to be a more evangelizing catechist by talking about the need to proclaim an alternate reality (the Kingdom of God) to our brokenness. Today, we continue by emphasizing that the way to this alternate reality is Jesus Christ and that we are incapable of getting there on our own; we need a divine intervention. I’m sure you are familiar with the concept of an intervention: a carefully planned gathering […]

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