“We are called to carry out God’s work in God’s own way: in closeness, by cleaving to Him, in communion with one another, alongside our brothers and sisters”
+ Pope Francis +
Our individual relationships should reflect the interactions of Jesus. His model of sharing life and encouraging each person to grow closer to the heart of God serves as the example of authentic relational love. This highlights the priority we give to living out our personal apostolate of evangelization.
We follow Jesus’ example using the Crowds to Three model and practicing prayer, care, share in our relationships. Each of us, as a disciple of Christ, is called to His mission of making disciples.
Prayer is the first action of evangelization. We root into and receive God’s grace when we are connected to Him. Living in relationship with Christ empowers us to bring His love to those we encounter.
Through prayer, we open ourselves to the Holy Spirit. This is not easy work! We live in a world of distractions and are offered many good things to do with our time. However, many of these good efforts do not grow our holiness. True holiness is rooted in prayerful abandonment to God’s will.
Our surrender to Christ allows us to reflect the holy joy of His Love to others. This surrender also encourages divine appointments — occasions of encounter outside of our control, but fully within God’s plan. It is imperative that we are intentionally creating time for prayer in our lives to grow closer to Christ and allow Him to work through us.
Care is our lived out expression of God’s love. It is an overflow of the internal abundance of grace received in our relationship with Christ through prayer and the sacraments.
We follow Christ’s example of receiving people with love and offering the support they need. Just as we have been received and supported in our spiritual journey, so we do the same for those Christ brings into our lives. Many times, our first action of care is to listen.
We cannot know how best to receive and support others unless we know their heart and have gained their trust. Every person has a unique story, we must never accept a label in place of their story.
For those who are married and/or have children, these immediate relationships of care take priority. Likewise, priests have a responsibility to nurture the relationships of their flock (parishioners/brothers) with Jesus.
Share is our opportunity to respond in offering our story with others. Sharing our unique journey into deep relationship with Christ and His Church serves as a witness of love. We validate the deepest identity of another as a Child of God when we speak to their heart in love.
We trust the primary work of conversion to the Holy Spirit, our human power cannot fully convert the heart to Christ. We cannot be interested in winning the argument or convincing the mind, but focus on serving the heart in genuine friendship. As we share, we will see the opportunity for deeper relationship and feel the call to individual accompaniment. This is the deepest investment of time and energy, and is the specific relationship lived out with your 3.
Sharing within accompaniment is very personal and self-reflective. As you accompany individuals, you will have the opportunity to share the Gospel message of Christ’s love (Kerygma). Increased awareness of Christ’s invitation to respond to that love encourages others to genuinely open their heart. This vulnerability can be very scary and new; your presence in their life offers a strong support and model of lived relationship with God.
The mission of the Church is to share the Gospel. This message of hope, joy and ultimate love is an invitation to know Jesus through His Sacramental Church. Jesus models how the Gospel is shared through relationships of discipleship.
His method can seem counter-intuitive; He spent most of His time with a small group of people. His investment in a few changed the world. Our investment in a few has the power to do the same.
We believe that “…the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.” (Matthew 12:23)
Jesus models evangelization to four distinct groups. He invested most deeply in relationships with 12 and 3. He gave the majority of His time in sharing life and prayer with these 12 and 3. This example introduced a specific way of living, especially to his three – Peter, James and John.
These three men, modeling the way of Jesus, engaged in deep relationships and served as missionary disciples spreading Christianity to the world. We are the Church, we are invited to this same mission. Our baptism is a call to a life of discipleship.
Through prayer and sacramental grace, we are equipped to intentionally live as a missionary disciple. This resource will help you develop your specific plan for mission. Your unique mission fulfills your call to share the Gospel with the world.
Openness can quickly revert to pre-trust or a closed heart; we must be sensitive to pressuring or overwhelming a relationship. One key practice that mental health professionals use in effective listening is to answer only the question that the other asks. If we listen well, we will hear the specific desires of their heart.
We can gently answer questions, in the loving way that Jesus modeled, and wait for more questions to follow. Within this relationship, God has placed you in a sacred position. We must be as patient with another soul as God has been with ours. Our grace-filled interactions must reflect the mercy and compassion of Christ.
This tender and patient approach models the pedagogy of God – the art of teaching within a relationship of trust. This pedagogy of God is both art and science; it is a process that is patient, gradual and progressive. It has the capacity of a mother’s patience and long suffering for her children, while also reflecting the faithful understanding that all conversion is the work of the Holy Spirit.
The method of prayer-care-share works in individual relationships, as well as in families, communities, organizations and cities. Praying for our communities and caring for their members and leaders builds trusting relationships.
Sharing stories, testimonies and time together builds community and creates conversion friendly environments. It is a virtuous effort to pray as a parish for city managers, government officials, and community leaders in businesses, schools and churches. This recognizes the place of our Church in a greater community and offers our most powerful tool of prayer in supporting those in positions of influence.
Our prayer also paves the way for the Holy Spirit to surface the “whom, what (to do and say), and when” in our relationships with these leaders. Listening and being attentive to the pain of our city is a tremendous example of intentional care. Modeling genuine care for those suffering around us, with local church and community leaders, will open hearts and minds within our Church and parish geography.
Not seeing a certain kind of resource or have a question? What are we missing? Let us know below:
ArchKCK Director of Evangelization
Deacon Dana Nearmyer heads up the Office of Evangelization for the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas. His role is to serve pastors and parish leaders in the area of Evangelization.
Lead Consultant for Adult Evangelization
Emily partners with pastors and lay leaders to talk with them about their parish identity, their vision, their parish’s strengths and weaknesses, and how they see evangelization being improved in their community.
CONSULTANT FOR EVANGELIZATION
Karla is excited to be part of the Evangelization team; to share her experience in collaboration with others and serve as a bridge between English-speaking and Spanish-speaking communities.
CONSULTANT FOR EVANGELIZATION
With an extensive background in media and digital content creation, Lee is looking forward to partnering with pastors and parish leaders to provide them with the tools they need to fulfill the great commission.
Director of Adult Evangelization
Consultant for Evangelization
Consultant for Evangelization
Dcn. Dana Nearmyer
Director of Evangelization
Revival ArchKCK is the Eucharistic Amazement Revival initiative of the Office of Evangelization for the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas.
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