MAY 10, 2022 | NEW MINDS

5 ESSENTIAL READS FOR EVANGELIZATION

As you seek to learn more about evangelization check out these 5 books to help you understand the mission to which God is calling you.


1. The Joy of the Gospel

Pope Francis’ landmark document on evangelization set the tone for his pontificate and the Church today. Pope Francis reminds us that we are all asked to respond to the call to be a more missionary church, to seek and save the lost. Throughout this 2013 Apostolic Exhortation, he lays out his pastoral strategy for renewing the Church and the world today.

EXCERPT:

“There are ecclesial structures which can hamper efforts at evangelization, yet even good structures are only helpful when there is a life constantly driving, sustaining and assessing them. Without new life and an authentic evangelical spirit, without the Church’s “fidelity to her own calling”, any new structure will soon prove ineffective.”

- Joy of the Gospel, 26

2. Forming Intentional Disciples

You could easily argue that no book the 25 years has had a bigger influence in shaping the conversation around Evangelization in the United States. Forming Intentional Disciples is absolutely essential reading for leaders in evangelization as Sherry Weddell highlights some key reasons for decline in our church and gives us key insights into how to help individuals make a decision to drop their nets and follow Christ as they go through the 5 Thresholds of Conversion - the stages that people typically go through as they come to faith.


EXCERPT:

"There is someone out there right now who is waiting for what you have been given to give, and their life, their spiritual and personal destiny, hangs in the balance. You may not have met them yet."

3. Divine Renovation

There’s a lot of talk about renewing our parishes today and Fr. James Mallon gives us a trustworthy roadmap from the heart of the Church in Divine Renovation. Through a mix of personal stories and wise pastoral insights Fr. Mallon shares how he took his parish from Maintenance to Mission - and how you can too!

EXCERPT:

“If we exist for mission, what is the mission of the Church? Jesus gave four tasks: go, make, baptize and teach. The task of making disciples is central.”

“It’s not so much that the Church of Christ has a mission, as that the mission of Jesus Christ has a Church.”

4. From Christendom to Apostolic Mission

Released in 2020, this timely book from the University of Mary is important for understanding the context of the current moment in which we are evangelizing. As we recognize that our society is becoming a post-christian society, how does that change the way that we preach the Gospel and try to engage the lost?

EXCERPT:

“We are dealing with the first culture in history that was once deeply Christian but that by a slow and thorough process been consciously ridding itself of its Christian basis.”


5. The Soul of the Apostolate

This 20th century classic work by Dom Chautard reminds anyone who wishes to be active in the work of evangelization that the root of all we do comes in prayer. Before we begin to learn new strategies to reach the modern world, we must remain in God's love.

EXCERPT:

“If you are wise, you will be reservoirs and not channels… We have many channels in the Church today but very few reservoirs” (St. Bernard): “The channels let the water flow away, and do not retain a drop. But the reservoir is first filled, and then, without emptying itself, pours out its overflow, which is ever renewed, over the fields which it waters” (55). By contemplation, the soul is fed. By apostolic work, the soul gives itself away – but this giving is a surplus from a reservoir, not a canal."


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