Everyone invited to street evangelization training at the Cathedral
By Christopher M. Riggs
You don’t need a master’s degree in theology to evangelize – just a baptismal certificate.
“That’s what our teams have discovered,” Adam Janke said last week from his office in Lansing, Michigan.
“They thought sharing their faith meant they needed to be experts in scripture, apologetics, or theology, but when they go out and give it a shot and actually start evangelizing, they find they’re getting into these one-on-one conversations with people who have wounds, who are broken, who are lonely, who are scared, and they have prayer requests.”
Instead of searching for Bible verses, street evangelists find themselves befriending others, listening to their stories, and inviting them into a relationship with Jesus and the church, he said. “So it’s not something that you need a background in apologetics or any extensive theological training to participate in or to be a great evangelist.”
Janke, national program director of St. Paul Street Evangelization, will be leading an evangelization training workshop Thursday, March 30, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Wichita.
“It’s very much a practical day, it’s very much a how-to day,” he said.
Janke said those attending the workshop will learn how to share their own testimony, how to discuss questions without getting into a debate, how to accompany people and walk with them towards the faith, how to create the circumstances to share the faith, and how to respond to the Holy Spirit’s promptings to invite people into the church.
“We receive graces to evangelize at baptism, and a greater outpouring of those graces at Confirmation which equip us to share our faith,” he said. “We have a particular obligation – especially lay people – to evangelize out into the world.”
Janke added that, according to St. John Paul II, “The moment has come to commit all of the church’s energies to a new evangelization and to the mission ad gentes (to the nations). No believer in Christ, no institution of the church can avoid this supreme duty: to proclaim Christ to all peoples.”
The evangelization training features presentations gleaned from the experience of over 300 teams and thousands of lay Catholics who are part of the organization, in addition to small group work, and discussions.
“We offer these workshops to help other Catholics discern how to share their faith in the circumstances of their own lives,” Janke said.
St. Paul Street Evangelization, headquartered in Bloomington, Indiana, is a grassroots, non-profit Catholic evangelization organization, and describes itself as being dedicated to responding to the mandate of Jesus to preach the Gospel to all nations by taking our Catholic Faith to the streets.
Want to participate?
The diocesan Office of Faith Formation is hosting basic evangelization training facilitated by St. Paul Street Evangelization Thursday, March 30, in Good Shepherd Hall at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Wichita.
The training will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The cost is $20 per person or $40 per parish and includes a catered lunch.
To register visit TinyURL.com/spse-kansas. The deadline is March 23.