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It's not your church's job to evangelize.

Updated: Sep 20, 2021

If you've been in the church space long enough, you've probably heard of a rise in the missionary discipleship model for parishes. It's a model that focuses on growing the church through an emphasis on guiding people through an evangelistic encounter.

As a concept, I love the model. It helps reorient parishes back to the heart of their mission - to make disciples - and offers an external viewpoint that I think is healthy for parishes that are entrenched in the never-ending cycle of internal communications.

However, to those who haven't engaged with the model at their parish, I could see a bit of overwhelm happening at the thought that on top of feeding their current congregation spiritually, they now also have to take on the task of getting people interested in Catholicism in the first place.

Here's the thing: it's not your church's job to evangelize. Its job is to TEACH others how to evangelize.

I can hear you scratching your head. How is it possible that that's not your church's job? Isn't that what Jesus told us to do in the Great Commission?

It's what He told individual people to do - not your parish.

At the end of the day, it's not the parish's job to facilitate conversion. Conversion is almost never going to start with someone just randomly showing up for Mass or even a group.

Rather, the parish's job is to equip its parishioners to go out and do the work of evangelization in the real world.

Let's look at gyms as an example. Gyms do a lot of advertising not just about their local gym, but also the importance of overall fitness. But, I highly doubt that their advertisements on a billboard or even a social media ad are converting someone from being a couch potato to a marathon runner.

Instead, let's say you're at the bus stop, and a fellow mom starts talking about her spin class that she's off to next. You've been considering trying one, but didn't want to go by yourself. You ask her a few questions about the intensity of the workout, and she has a referral discount to get you three classes for free to try it. The next thing you know, you're going to that gym for spin class three days a week and can't remember how you functioned without it!