Dave “I’m the Hurricane” VanVickle and I answer a listener’s question about practically guiding someone in the midst of a conversion and also speak on the importance of leaving room for the dynamism of the Holy Spirit when we approach spiritual multiplication.
Snippet From the Show
Evangelization cannot be reduced to merely mechanics or processes, it must always leave room for the dynamism of the Holy Spirit.
Listener’s Email- Question from James
“I have a question that I wish I had the answer to years ago. I was raised as a Free Methodist / evangelical non- denominational charismatic hybrid, but was drawn into the Catholic Church. The evangelism training I had received as a Protestant was to live a holy life and to be ready to lead people through the Sinner’s Prayer when they asked you why you were so different. While I did strive to live a holy life, nobody came to me asking for what I had.
When I became Catholic I came to understand the necessity of the sacraments for salvation. And then one day, out of the blue, a non-religious coworker came to me and asked why I was so different and what he needed to do to become a Christian. He was sincere and vulnerable. I realized with a shock that I actually had him on the hook. But I knew the Sinner’s Prayer wasn’t sufficient. So I mumbled something incoherent about needing to get him baptized, and sadly that’s as far as I went. In retrospect I see now that I failed to respond in a meaningful way to the awakened longing of his heart for the Father’s love. I didn’t know what else to do, on a practical level. And ultimately, I lost him. He ended up joining a local Protestant megachurch and invited me to his baptism there, where the pastor used the words “I baptize you in the name of Jesus Christ, to the glory of the Father and the Holy Spirit” which I’m pretty sure is invalid. I’m still torn up about it to this day.
Your podcast has convicted me of the need to be more than passively evangelistic. I’m putting more focus on building relationships in my various communities, praying for the Lord to give me opportunities to witness, and actually using words to speak God’s gentle truth when the time is ripe. And I think there are a few times I’ve seen the metaphorical fishing line tighten a smidge; the bobber is being tugged.
The next time I have a fish on the line, what are some practical things I can do to reel him in? I do now think that a form of the Sinner’s Prayer is appropriate, and then some gentle instruction and guidance through next steps. I just don’t know what those next steps are, practically speaking.”- James
- Take yourself out of the situation and let God encounter him through prayer.
- Pray with him out loud, not from a distance but right in the moment. Intercessory prayer is very powerful.
- Share the Kerygma with him, first explain to him who Jesus is and why his life matters, and then introduce him to the Catholic church and baptism.
- Go deep and ask him intentional questions about his conversion journey.
- Invite him to make a firm decision to give their his to Christ.
- Words matter, so use caution when speaking about spiritual multiplication.
- Do not reduce spiritual multiplication to simple mechanics and processes, make sure you leave room for the dynamism of the Holy Spirit.
- Find a way to balance formalism and dynamism when you approach spiritual multiplication.
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- Romans: The Gospel of Salvation
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Meet Your Hosts
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.
Michael 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, and they have about 1,000 children and get about 3 hours of sleep a night, which is alright by him.
Dave VanVickle fell in love with the Lord at the age of fourteen and has since dedicated his life to bringing others into a radical relationship with Christ.
Dave is a speaker and retreat leader who 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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