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 […]

How to Be a More Evangelizing Catechist #1: Proclaim an Alternate Reality to Our Brokenness

Welcome to the first post in my Lenten series on How to Be a More Evangelizing Catechist. In my introduction to the series, I talked about how marketing efforts often rely on nine formulaic strategies for persuading people that they need to purchase the product or service being advertised. They kick off their efforts by emphasizing that something is missing from your life or that something in your life, as you live it now, is […]

Lenten Series: How to Be a More Evangelizing Catechist

Now that Lent is upon us, it is a good time for us catechists to renew our efforts at effectively proclaiming God’s Word and creating new disciples of Christ. With that in mind, I am happy to announce a Lenten series of posts that I will be writing right here at Catechist’s Journey titled “How to Be a More Evangelizing Catechist.” I’d like to begin by introducing you to Claude C. Hopkins, an advertising pioneer and […]