While reflecting on the state of the Church and where we are going, it is exciting to see that the local parishes are starting to focus in on Evangelization and Discipleship. There are great programs like Cursillo, Alpha, ChristLife, and Life In The Spirit Seminars breathing evangelistic life into the Church. One of the questions circulating is that of discipleship. “What do we teach them after they have encountered Christ?”
While it is great to see new programs emerging, I am convinced that we will not make the headway we want because we are still tied to the programs themselves in our evangelistic efforts. I believe that the way we are going to make inroads into this lost culture is to equip every disciple with the tools to evangelize, and then set them loose into their sphere of influence.
If Satan has our number and people don’t come to our programs,
then how will we reach the culture?
While parishes are grappling with what to teach their newfound young disciples, I believe one of the critical elements is to give them “the tools to evangelize” others. I am not speaking here of training people on how to administer a program. I am referring to giving them the tools to lead a person/group to Christ; we need to them how to effectively share the Kerygma with others and lead through the Evangelization process.
At this point, the core of the Church has been satisfied in serving the Kingdom of God as a “volunteer” who helps with particular tasks in the Church. Some are liturgical and some are catechetical, but all of them operate within specifically defined roles AT THE CHURCH. We must equip them with the critical identity of being a disciple of Christ who gives God their entire calendar, not just the “leftovers.”
We need to help them understand that their role is to lead hearts to Christ. This requires that they not only sacrifice the time as the Spirit leads, but also requires the preparation needed to do so. This is the role of the local parish – to equip the saints not just to worship God, but to build the kingdom by building others and leading them to Christ. Imagine what would happen if your church of a thousand people was prepared and actually started to do the work?
At NEM, we have been working for ten years to gain this critical understanding, and are preparing to roll out a process that will assist parishes in equipping their saints to lead others to Jesus Christ.
Stay tuned, IT’S COMING!!!