7 Common Evangelization Mistakes

Dave “Skull Crusher” VanVickle and I talk about seven common evangelization mistakes we see at parishes around the country. Recognize any? 

Snippet from the Show

Our neighbor will never convert unless you and I fall on our knees. 


Listener Feedback from Aaron

Dear Gomer and Dave “never fickle and always bringing the sickle” Van Vickle, Loved the last episode on starting an Evangelization commission at a Parish, but how should one approach a Parish that already has an Evangelization Commission, but that Commission is either not producing any fruit or at least appears to not be producing any fruit?

Pitfalls of Evangelization

  1. Confusing catechesis and loading up educational classes as “evangelization”
    • This tends to draw people into the church who have already been evangelized
  2. Confusing our timeline for their conversion with God’s timeline
    • When we’re anxious and mocrimanage people’s conversions, we become lecturers instead of friends
  3. Confusing closeness to the parish’s alter with closeness to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
    • We don’t need to earn the Father’s love; he loved us before we even knew him.
  4. Thinking that revival only comes through white-hot faith in the Risen Lord
  5. Not having a defined path of discipleship
    • People need to see one-on-one support, group events, and activities for discipleship
  6. Failing to reflect evangelization in every aspect of parish life 
    • We all need to speak the same language, the language of making disciples  
  7. Using the Mass to evangelize in a utilitarian way
    • It’s important that Mass is a moment of authentic encounter with Christ, but it is very dangerous to start altering or adjusting the liturgy to fit your goal of evangelization.

Five Practical Takeaways

  1. Look at your calendar and see how it can be evangelical
  2. Examine your conscience about how you might be slipping in your timetable to God’s and repent for it
  3. Trade one activity in your parish involvement for personal prayer. If you are more contemplative and prayerful, take one hour and be active at your parish
  4. Personal evangelization: create a plan for how people can move through the kerygma and into fuller forms of discipleship through you
  5. Share this podcast with someone


Meet Your Hosts

Michael “Gomer” Gormley

Michael “Gomer” Gormley

Michael has been leading evangelization and ministry efforts for the past ten years, both as a full-time parish staff member and as a speaker and consultant for parishes, dioceses, and Catholic campus ministries.

He is also the founder and creative director of LayEvangelist.com, and the producer and cohost of a Catholic young adult podcast Catching Foxes, which discusses the collision of Faith and Culture.

He is married to his college sweetheart, Shannon. Together they have about 1,000 children and get about 3 hours of sleep a night, which is alright by him.

David “Dave” VanVickle

David “Dave” VanVickle

Dave VanVickle fell in love with the Lord at the age of fourteen. Since then, he has dedicated his life to bringing others into a radical relationship with Christ.

He is a speaker and retreat leader. His programs focuses on proclaiming the universal call to holiness, authentic Catholic spirituality, spiritual warfare and deliverance. Additionally, Dave has over ten years of experience assisting Priests with their ministries of exorcism and deliverance.

Dave resides in Pittsburgh with his wife Amber and their five children: Sam, Max, Judah, Josie and Louisa.

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