Strategies for the New Evangelization: Connecting With Families

There is no doubt that faith and family has risen to the forefront of the minds of parish leaders. Within the context of the New Evangelization, the opportunity is at hand for Catholic educators to consider the impact of their evangelizing efforts not only with individuals, but with the family itself.

Strategies for the New EvangelizationThe Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will occur Oct. 5-19, and will explore the pastoral challenges of the family in the context of the New Evangelization. During this time of concentration and reflection, let us pause a moment to consider our current strategies and explore ways we might practically “re-propose the perennial truth of Christ’s Gospel”† to our families, putting the “new” into our evangelizing efforts.

The New Evangelization is focused on three areas or dimensions of sharing and living the Gospel. One area applies to the ordinary pastoral ministries within parish life. Another dimension is  is directed towards evangelizing and proclaiming Christ’s message of salvation to those who do not know of Jesus. The last concerns itself with baptized Christians who have fallen away or become distant from the Church.

Though we are tasked with all three areas, those in catechesis commonly minister within parish life by sharing and living the gospel, which sounds so easy! Those in parish leadership realize how deceptively challenging that can be. Sharing the faith in an evangelizing community begins with invitation and relaying information, so it may be helpful to evaluate our existing communication systems. Take a moment to respond and compare:

Now compare your preferred communication method with how you actually communicate with your parishioners.

Are we connecting with our families in the best ways possible? If the poll percentages differ from our preferences, we might need to add ways of communicating with our families. If they are the same, we might only be communicating in the ways we prefer, or ways we have always done it. Ask around and be a good listener. What ways do your families want to hear from you?

Next, we’ll look at Mass Media vs. Social Media.

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†Pope Benedict XVI – homily June 28, 2012

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