The Heart of the Mission

I recently finished a new book by Cande de Leon entitled The Heart of the Mission. I cannot recommend this book enough to parishes, pastors, ministry teams, and anyone really. Cande breaks down the HOW of Evangelization in a way that makes sense for all believers.

He digs deep on a point I’ve been trying to articulate (but failing to) for many years – which is how important relationships are when we are trying to evangelize. It’s really the first step in sharing the life of Christ. Relationships are what bring people together in all aspects of life – and they’re safe places to share the message of the Gospel.

The past year has been hard for all sorts of relationships. Relationships with those we are closest to are strained because we’re spending every waking moment together (remote work, remote school, staying socially distant). Creating new relationships is a skill many of us haven’t used recently for all of the same reasons.

Both of these relationships are important and vital to our work as evangelizers though. Cande writes about each encounter as an opportunity.

“Every person we encounter, even in passing, is a relationship. The question is: what is the depth of that relationship, and why has God placed them in our life? Perhaps the only reason they are placed in our life is for us to smile at them and love them for a moment.”

When we ‘create programs for evangelization,’ are we keeping this foundational principle in mind? How does that Alpha program you’re running this fall build relationships? Where are there opportunities for relationships in the after Mass coffee & donut hour? Who are you connecting with one another after Mass so they can walk together in the faith? In what ways is your parish focused on building relationships among its people?

In what ways are you as ministry leaders focused on relationships?

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