January 20, 2017

Worship and Evangelization Outreach / Ken Ogorek

Want to be a better disciple? This workshop is for you!

Most Catholics know that evangelization is something we’re supposed to do. But what in the heck is it?

The word evangelization has negative connotations for some; it calls to mind a confrontational approach—yelling on street corners, maybe. So how can a modern Catholic fulfill the command of Jesus to go and make disciples? (Mt 28:19)

A non-confrontational approach

An apostolate called St Paul Street Evangelization was featured in the Aug. 19, 2016, issue of The Criterion. This ministry, in collaboration with a grass-roots group of local Catholics, is offering a Basic Evangelization Training workshop from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 11, at Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Parish, 520 Stevens St., in Indianapolis. The cost is approximately $20 and includes lunch. You must be at least 18 to attend the workshop, and plenty of free parking is available for it at the parish.

A lot of Catholics just don’t know where to start when it comes to evangelization. What do you say? How can I talk about my faith without sounding judgmental or holier-than-thou?

If you have butterflies in your stomach when you think of yourself evangelizing, you’ll be very glad that you attended this workshop. With simple, practical tips and advice—plus an opportunity to role-play and practice a bit—a non-confrontational approach to evangelization is laid out for you to learn and use going forward in your family, neighborhood and community.

Are you sure Catholics are supposed to evangelize?

Easy. Engaging. Fun. These are words that St. Paul Street Evangelization uses to describe its approach to disciple-making.

A peaceful presence. A friendly greeting. A response to the question “Why are you Catholic?” Your toolbox for evangelization will include these and more when you attend this workshop.

Once we set negative stereotypes about evangelization aside, we’re relieved to learn proven techniques for fulfilling the great commission of Jesus. As mentioned above, Jesus had some specific instructions for his followers as he ascended to our heavenly Father. In the Gospel of Matthew, we hear, “All power in heaven and on Earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age” (Mt 28:18-20).

Jesus is with you as you fulfill his command

Yes, as Blessed Pope Paul VI observed in his exhortation “On Evangelization in the Modern World,” the Church “exists in order to evangelize” (#14). Whenever you strengthen your own discipleship by reaching out to others with evangelizing efforts, Jesus is there to strengthen and support you.

Please attend the Basic Evangelization Training workshop on Feb. 11. For more information, call 317-224-6820, e-mail SPindyevents@gmail.com or simply visit streetevangelization.com and look under upcoming workshops.

(Ken Ogorek is catechetical director within the Secretariat for Worship and Evangelization in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. He can be reached at kogorek@archindy.org.)

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