Spreading the Good News
Justin: Recently we have been reading a book called Rebuilt. It is the story of a dwindling Catholic parish and how the staff and its members transformed it into a growing Catholic community.
Sara: Shortly after beginning to read this book, we received a phone call asking Justin to join the Adult Faith Formation team at our parish. After discussing it together, Justin and I decided it would work best for our family if I volunteered instead.
Last night I attended my first of several training sessions in preparation for joining the formation team. The session explored what adult faith formation is and why it is important in our parishes.
Ultimately, the reason to have adult faith formation is so we can draw people into a deeper relationship with Jesus. For some, this may mean attending Sunday Mass. For others, this might mean increasing prayer time. However, we, as a parish, exist to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Our session facilitator reminded us that each and every disciple shares in this mission. It’s not just Father’s job to spread the Gospel. In fact, each of us has the opportunity to reach others and witness in ways that Father never could. In this way, the Church and our experience of the Mass is always meant to point outward.
Justin: A problem arises when we forget this outward focus. It is easy to attend Mass with what the author of Rebuilt calls a consumer mindset. The consumer mindset is often a product of living in our consumer culture and the problem is that the consumer mindset always points inward. The Mass then becomes a means to fulfill some obligation or satisfy some felt need rather than a opportunity to grow in discipleship, which is a journey toward Jesus in which we also invite others.
Sara: As a stay-at-home mom this can be very challenging. How do I spread the Good News? There are very few people I see on a regular basis, and most of the moms I hang out with are already Catholic and appear, at least to me, to be taking their Christianity seriously.
My primary responsibility is to teach Gus to know, love, and serve the Lord. Still, the invitation to join the adult formation team has reminded me that I am also called to spread the Gospel beyond just Gus.
Reading Rebuilt has made me realize that it’s not about “making” opportunities but entering into my faith with the right mindset. In this way, I will be better prepared to share my faith with others through my words and deeds when opportunities naturally arise.