Evangelization is not easy, and because it isn't, many people don't do it. Veteran youth minister Andy Lesnefsky (a personal friend) decided to do much of the hard work for us by investing untold hours into creating this internet phenomenon called #ShareJesus this Lent.
Andy's plan was to get nationally recognizeable Catholic speakers and ask them to record a 2-3 minute video on a specific topic, upload it to him, and he would write a blog post per video to be posted each day during Lent. Here's how Andy describes the mission of RedeemedOnline.com:
Each day of Lent, beginning Ash Wednesday and running through Easter Sunday, you will get a 2-3 minute video emailed to you from a top Catholic speaker. Videos are based on the upcoming Sunday Gospel. They are created for sharing and discussion on social media giving you the ability to #ShareJesus within your social circles. Even if you are't on social media, you can share the videos via email.
Our hope is this project is one of the largest social media projects ever attempted in the Catholic Church and you can be part of it. Sign up now!
Enough talks deal out the facts, but do not challenge people to actually change. They aren't practical teachings, but technical. The information transfer itself is seen as good enough, and people are expected to change their lives because now they know the facts. I have grown to resent the lack of challenge and praxis in many of my own talks. After all, most people are not on a truth quest. Most people are on a happiness quest. But the Church keeps dishing factoids and expecting change to happen. Praxis, change, challenge- these things need to be woven into the very heart of a presentation, especially for those that are a part of a Parish Mission!
It is the heartfelt desire of every evangelist to get people to respond to God's call in their lives. The response to God is the key; not the hearing, but the doing. Response.
My last brainstorming session started with a single question: How are people responding to God's love? I came up with five basic responses to God that shape everything else in our lives. There is denial, avoidance, rejection, earning, and reception. Then I focused it on the three central responses and began to research each one, looking for the one way to tie it all together in a meaningful, personal and challenging way. Then I realized clearly what that was: dads.