We want people to convert to the Catholic Church not because it’s a popular thing to do, but because they have a genuine experience of God’s love and truth through the Church. This means we can’t water down the gospel.
Dave “Lay Assistant to Exorcists” VanVickle and I talk about this vital aspect of winning hearts for Christ, as well as the importance of repentance. On a practical note, we also talk about how to start intercessory prayer groups.
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Snippet from the Show
Some people are willing to compromise certain aspects of the gospel so that it has a better hearing in our culture. We have lost the fact that the first words of Christ in Mark’s Gospel is “repent and believe”.
How to Start Intercessory Prayer Groups
- Start with people who are already praying.
- Invite others as the group grows.
- Create a “job description” that outlines what the group does.
- Ask people to participate in a fast one day a month.
- Ask your priest to submit his intentions to the group.
- Every day or week assign the group a member of the clergy and/or staff to pray for.
- Give them a special prayer book specific to your church and set up formal routines and education.
- Pick one month out of the year to recruit more members.
How to Make More Disciples
- Matthew 5:11-12 – “Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
- John 2:23-25 – “When he was in Jerusalem during the Passover festival, many believed in his name because they saw the signs that he was doing. But Jesus on his part would not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to testify about anyone; for he himself knew what was in everyone.”
- Jesus was not afraid to chase off people who weren’t ready to believe.
- Are we trying to make disciples or are we trying to make Jesus popular in our churches today?
- Romans 1:8 – “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed throughout the world.”
- To be a Christian means I have to change my life.
- There has been a loss of the universal call to holiness in recent years.
- When you rob the Church of its challenge you rob it of its nobility.
- The Church needs to find a balance between too harsh and too soft.
- We all need a thirst for conversion.
- Romans 12:1-2 – “I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
- Make your own list of the hard sayings of Jesus in the Gospels.
- Why do we soften the teachings of Jesus?
- Because of our own disordered self-love.
5 Practical Tips
- Take time and ask yourself ”how has my desire for approval interfered with my call to evangelization?”
- Do you think obsessively about what you said during evangelization? You probably are relying too much on yourself.
- Examine specific teachings that you are most uncomfortable talking about. Discern why they are so difficult for you.
- Look at your evangelization relationships and evaluate “have you brought in the idea of repentance and true life change?” If not, why?
- Discern the weight of numbers in your ministry.