It's an exciting time to be an evangelist, convocation delegates told: ORLANDO, Fla. (CNS) -- There's a convention of Catholic leaders in Orlando, Florida.
This summer, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will be convening an unprecedented gathering of key leaders from dioceses and Catholic organizations from all across the country in order to assess the challenges and opportunities of our time, particularly in the context of the Church in the United States. This has been an ongoing initiative of the Bishops' Working Group on the Life and Dignity of the Human Person. The gathering will assemble Catholic leaders for a strategic conversation, under the leadership of the bishops, on forming missionary disciples to animate the Church and to engage the culture
At first, the statistics depressed everybody. Church membership is declining. But Bishop Robert Barron changed the tune. He told the audience that it's an exciting time to be an evangelist. It's an opportunity. The people are really ignorant of the beauty, never mind the Truth, of the Catholic Church. It's time to engage -- evangelize.
Following Bishop Barron, was Patrick Lencioni, an author and management consultant. He said to follow a business model. I immediately thought of my real estate broker training. Some things I could use to evangelize. I remember I was told to be a joiner. I was to belong to a lot of clubs to network. That would work and does. I've brought people to prayer group from my cribbage group. Of course, they were going to church anyway, but it shows how networking works. There was also what we called "farming." Actually, that's what the Jehovah Witness do, and the Mormons. I used to go door to door and just ask if people were interested in selling their house. When they said "no," I handed them a business card for when they were ready to sell. And I kept in touch with them. That method of "farming" never worked. But I remember we were told that we'd get 100 "no's" before we got a "yes." That goes to show you that you shouldn't get discouraged, just keep at it. Persistence and perseverance were the keys to success in salesmanship and I can see where that would hold true in evangelisation.