Welcome to the inaugural post of Transforming Parishes, Transforming Lives, the official blog of M3 Ministries.
In every age, the Mission of the baptized, which is to say the Church’s Mission, is the same: to offer people salvation in Jesus Christ through explicit proclamation of the Name & Person of Jesus and a “making present” of God’s Kingdom here on earth. This is not simply the work of specialists–of deacons, priests, and those in consecrated life. God desires that each of us would take our place in the evangelization of the world. This is the work of disciples–of ordinary believers who, through the power of the Holy Spirit, will do extraordinary things for the Kingdom of God.
The crisis of discipleship within the Catholic Church has been well documented. In her book, Forming Intentional Disciples, Sherry Weddell writes:
“…that there is a chasm the size of the Grand Canyon between the Church’s sophisticated theology of the lay apostolate and the lived spiritual experience of a majority of our people. And this chasm has a name: discipleship.”
Many of our Catholic brothers and sisters, though baptized, have no explicit, personal relationship with Christ. They may be thoroughly wonderful, kind, generous people, but something foundational is not in place–something that would allow the grace they have received through the Sacraments to transform them, set them free, and empower them to be Christ for the world.
Identifying this crisis of discipleship, Saint John Paul II, in his encyclical Redemptoris Missio, called for a New Evangelization, a renewed commitment to helping Catholics encounter Christ and make an intentional decision to follow Him in the midst of His Church.
It is my hope that this blog becomes a resource for those working in the New Evangelization and those active in the Church’s efforts to evangelize the world–whether they work for the Church or volunteer.
We will discuss all aspects of culture, theology, history, Church practice, etc. through the lens of evangelization, and we will, hopefully, break open practical ways that we can evangelize right now—in our homes, workplaces, parishes, and dioceses. Like the podcast of the same name, Transforming Parishes, Transforming Lives will focus particularly on concrete ways that the culture of our parishes can change and renew so that they focus on mission, evangelization, and discipleship.
If you are looking for support, encouragement, and ideas from other men and women who are trying to transform their parishes, then consider joining the M3 Missionary Leadership Academy by clicking here.