How can I help others get closer to Jesus during this time?
To Keep in Mind:
- We have now entered into a State of Emergency with growing numbers of fatalities. This particular virus is extremely difficult to track yet easy to spread, even unknowingly, thus putting vulnerable populations at high risk of grave danger. This is why there has been a temporary suspension of public gatherings at our parishes throughout the diocese. Capitalizing on this opportunity, acknowledging the pain and loss that these measures necessitate, relying on God to lead us, receiving grace through our sacrifices, and coming up with creative solutions, our mission stays the same; only the circumstances have changed. By the time the crisis passes, our goal is to have become even better disciples of Jesus than had it not occurred.
- In our crisis response, we want to be united, stronger than ever, and lean on our key initiatives already in place (i.e. 4 Levels of Happiness, The Amazing Parish, Forming Intentional Disciples, and The Little Way).
- Our mission stays the same; only the circumstances have changed.
- The basic premise is to meet spiritual needs without making the problem worse.
- We are making these sacrifices, not out of fear for ourselves, but out of charity and concern.
- All of this, in solidarity with the faithful from all our parishes, and in solidarity with the intentions that the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and St. Therese of the Child Jesus have for our diocese.
- We were baptized for such a time as this!
- Building Trust – Many people have not trusted God, the Catholic Church, or Christians in the past. In this time of certainty, people are looking for something to trust in, for someone to trust. They could be waiting to trust you. Look below for some ideas on how to help this to happen.
- Evangelizing – In this time of certainty, people are looking for something to trust in, for Someone to trust. Introduce them to the One they can trust. For ideas see below.
- Catechizing – Once someone has a relationship with Jesus, there are some great resources out there to help them learn more about Him and His Church and to grow in their faith. See below for things to keep in mind when catechizing.
- Equipping Disciples – Each of us is called to help others know Christ and to get closer to Him. This responsibility does not fall to anyone alone. Help others to step into this call and empower them to trust in the Lord’s work through them. Look below for more on this.
- Acknowledge people’s fears, frustrations, and difficulties
- Show care and concern
- Reach out
- personal contact is key
- Here is an example of a letter from a parish to volunteers that is used in their efforts to maintain contact with their parishioners. A parish would not have to use this exact language, but could use this for ideas that could be adapted to their parish.
- Here is an example of a call script that volunteers use when contacting parishioners. Again, a parish would not have to use this exact script, but it may give some ideas.
- personal contact is key
- Listen – people often have no one who will listen to them
- Pray for the person you are talking to or working with
- Pray with the person you are talking to or working with (depending on the situation and the relationship)
- Remove obstacles where you can and where it is called for
- Talk about Jesus
- Use the name of Jesus
- Share the kerygma
- God made you in His image, He loves you, and He wants you to share in His life.
- Sin destroys our relationship with God, and we cannot under our own power restore it.
- Jesus became man, suffered, died, rose from the dead, and ascended into heaven so that through Him you might have a relationship with God.
- You are invited into relationship with God, into the Kingdom of Heaven, into the Church, and out of the power of death and hell.
- It is up to you to respond and choose a life in Christ as His disciple in the midst of His Church, trusting in Him and entrusting yourself to Him.
- Share your story or a portion of your story
- Let people know the Good News of what God has done in your life.
- You don’t have to go into great detail, and you shouldn’t go into detail about your sins.
- Make use of online tools – links are available throughout this website, especially on the Resources page
- Maintain personal contact – tools, no matter how good they are, cannot take the place of a missionary disciple in a deep relationship with God
- Integrate the kerygma – The Good News of Jesus Christ (see Evangelizing above) should be included in every catechesis.
- Be creative
- Encourage them to find their mission in this crisis – God has given everyone a mission and has given them the gifts to accomplish that mission.
- Empower them to accomplish it – Let them know that they have permission to tell others about Jesus. In fact, they are supposed to.
- Equip them to accomplish it – Help them find the right tools and resources to find and use the gifts that they have been given. (A Called and Gifted small group study or Ananias Training could be very helpful here.) For some great ideas on how to equip, go to TLW Equip or the New Evangelization Resources page on the Diocese of Pueblo website. The New Evangelization Resources page has great book, tactics, and podcast recommendations and other links for helping you and your parish to be the missionary disciples and Spirit-filled Evangelizers you are called to be.
- Gather them to support each other – The support of other missionary disciples is important. Small groups can be very helpful in fostering this support.