Back to Podcasts
How to Listen: Subscribe (it’s free!) in your favorite podcast app.
Nov 6, 2019

Stewardship Parishes, Discipleship Tracks, and Evangelization for Introverts

The Ascension Team

Dave “He Stole My Eggo” VanVickle and I are coming up with answers faster than the magic 8-ball that’s probably still in your attic somewhere. We’re addressing your quick questions about parish life and evangelization including: 

  • What’s the deal with stewardship parishes (parishes where your salary is on record so they’re sure you’re tithing fully)? 
  • How can I make discipleship tracks in my parish? 
  • How can I talk about Jesus when talking in general is hard enough? 
  • And how can I be a good witness when the first contact I have with someone is about sexual morality?

Snippet from the Show

“It’s easier to give money than it is to give your whole life.”


SHOWNOTES

Listener Feedback from Gabby

My name is Gabby and I serve as the Community Life and Outreach chair at a small mission parish in Houston, TX. Gomer, you probably haven’t heard the name, but funny enough it’s called Ascension Chinese Mission! (Only Chinese Catholic Church in Houston) I’m also a nurse in the Texas Medical Center.  

I just want to thank y’all for all that y’all do, but more so thank you for inspiring me to be more intentional and on fire for evangelization. It was just God’s timing for me to hear about y’all from Abiding Together. Now the Holy Spirit and I are becoming best buds. I’ve even prayed for patients at work! 

I’ve been prompted by the Spirit to take all my talents and make big movements for our small parish. We’re also hosting a community wide night of adoration, confession and worship open to the entire Alief community. Fr. Richard McNeillie is also going to speak. If you’re in town Nov 22 in the evening, that’s when it’s going down! May God continue to inspire you and give y’all courage and strength in your work and prayers. Keep up the good work!

Listener Feedback from Fr. Andrew

I hope everything is going well! I love the podcast! I’m a new priest at a new parish. We are finishing up a strategic planning session started before the pastor and I got here and it is sort of troubling. But we’ll work on it. 

I was wondering if you could send me a Discipleship Track. I’ll admit that I have no imagination and am super new at all of this. I would love something to show the strategic planning sessions and staff to help make it concrete. Once I do that I think the amazing people here will take off and run with it.

Peace,
Fr. Andrew!

Listener Feedback from Mo

Gomer and Dave “Already Blazing” VanVickle – I love your “Godcast” and while ideally I’d be out there evangelizing others just as energetically and knowledgeably as you two I am an introvert—so anything beyond a 1 on 1 conversation is way outside of my comfort zone.

Your prayerful practical tips are perfect for me, but ones which are human interactive are a massive stretch. The way I would/could evangelize seems vastly different than how you do it. Do you have any evangelization practical tips for introverts? 

So far I found God makes me comfortable enough to hold doors and greet people at church events. But I’m mostly comfortable in roles that are behind the scenes. Looking for ideas on how to spread the good news in a way that fits how God made me. Any thoughts? Keep setting the world on fire.

Listener Feedback from Annie

I have been diving into the back episodes of the podcast this week and I’m loving it! Great work—keep it up! There is a recurring observation that comes up in multiple episodes about how to handle topics of morality (especially sexual morality—gasp!) when evangelizing. I think it is a great point. Why get people hung up on the details when they have not yet encountered the truth of the gospel?

My question is this. What if questions of morality are the first or primary point of encounter? 

My husband is a family medicine resident and I teach the Creighton model. Many of the people whom we encounter on a regular basis who we should be witnessing to have probably seen our faith/beliefs/witness firstly and primarily through the lens of morality. My husband doesn’t prescribe contraception and this has led to some conflict in his workplace, though he has also had a lot of great conversations with coworkers because of this. (A few faculty members have asked him about his religion, and one said she had assumed he was Mormon because “most Catholics just don’t take their faith that seriously.”) 

I mostly preach to the choir because people are seeking out NFP instruction, but do often encounter people, including Catholics, who are skeptical about Church teaching regarding contraception—thinking especially of required classes for marriage prep. 

In both of our cases, we are necessarily “leading with” a specific point of morality having to do with our faith. What advice do you have for people in a similar situation to witness to the fullness of the gospel through adherence to a moral teaching, or maybe despite this moral issue being one of the only things others may notice about our lived faith?

Hopefully this makes sense … basically, we often don’t have the privilege of building a relationship with someone first before needing to explain that we believe contraception is wrong/against our beliefs. How can we avoid letting our witness stop there? Thanks again.

Five Practical Takeaways

  1. Look for ways to bring the Holy Spirit into your daily job or hobby.
  2. Look at local events and go to one of each: Kerygma, Catechesis, and Conquer.
    1. Kerygma event – retreat or a speaker at your parish 
    2. Catechesis event – Bible study or other learning opportunity 
    3. Conquer event – outreach event at your parish, or volunteering opportunities
  3. Five Minute Exercise: Go on YouTube and find videos that fall into the Kerygma, Catechesis, and Conquer categories above and maybe send them out. Ascension Presents has some good ones for you!
  4. Intercessory Prayer: Prayers for Catholics involved in OBGYN and family medicine.
  5. Introverted ways to evangelize: Do it online! Head over to Brandon Vogt’s Strange Notions and read up, or consume “Classical Theism Podcast” and share it out there on your social feeds.

Resources


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.

Get your favorite Ascension content sent right to your email!

>

FREE Catholic Bible Reading Plan

This guide lists Scripture in an order that is easy to understand. Sign up for our email list to get it FREE.