Did you know that when you were baptized, you were anointed to be an evangelist? The question is, “How do I do that?”
Saint John Paul II has the answer. He teaches us that the most effective way to evangelize is through our personal witness. We are all meant to evangelize and we all have a unique story that no one else can tell – a story that appeals to people no one else can reach.
St. Paul’s exhorts us in 1 Peter 3:15, 16 to “Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence.”
How do you share your story to those seeking a reason for hope? How do you help the potential convert you work with or the returning Catholic in your neighborhood draw closer to God? Or tell a troubled friend how God‘s mercy works miracles in the hearts of each of us?
You can wing it or you can be ready! That’s where the Sharing Your Faith Story evangelization workshop shines!
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Sharing Your Faith Story helps converts, those returning to the Faith and all who experience continuous conversion to always be ready to answer the nudge of the Holy Spirit as he draws them into a closer relationship with God by sharing their story. I wrote Sharing Your Faith Story for people like me.
- The self-conscious teenager who committed her life to the Lord but couldn’t talk about it to anyone.
- The twenty-something who joined the Church but hesitated to share her joy with her non-Catholic family.
- Converts and returning Catholics of any age or spiritual maturity.
- Those finding a personal dimension of God’s love through a crisis, retreat or joy-filled God-moment of grace.
- Anyone in the teaching and renewal ministries that has opportunities to share their stories as part of their ministries such as RCIA, ACTS, CHRP, Bible Study or Youth Ministry.
What happens at the workshop?
Sharing Your Faith Story workshops begin with Mass, then a light breakfast and three talks. In two breakout sessions, you will practice the evangelization skills presented in the talks and testimonies. You learn to witness effectively and authentically in many situations and time limitations from a two-minute elevator speech to a book-length biography
I give my Protestant-to-Catholic conversion story. Guest speakers tell their renewal stories.
We teach you the skills to share your faith story and help you practice them during the workshop. You are sent off with “Ten Tips for Sharing Your Faith Story” -- tips like sticking to your part of the story, speaking in the listener’s language and avoiding sordid details.
What do I learn?
A Sharing Your Faith Story evangelization workshop helps you connect, without preaching, what God is doing in your life with how he works miracles in the lives of those you meet. Discovering who you are in God enables you to help many of the 93% of Catholics who are disengaged from their parish community seek the joy they sense in you as you share your story.
The workshop emphasizes keeping a spiritual journal, your storehouse of God-moments to draw from at the ideal moment. Surprisingly, when you share what God is doing in your life, you see God in others and others see God in you.
Are you ready?
© 2016 Nancy HC Ward
About the Author
Nancy Ward authored Sharing Your Catholic Faith Story: Tools, Tips, and Testimonies (and the DVD) and contributed to The Catholic Mom's Prayer Companion. She loves to share her conversion story and give evangelization workshops and retreats equipping others to share their faith. She facilitates the DFW Catholic Writers, Catholic Writers Guild Nonfiction Critique Group, serves on their Board, and speaks at writers’ conferences. Learn more at JoyAlive.net and NancyHCWard.com.