From The Abundance of the Heart: Catholic Evangelism for All Christians

Study Notes: Part II

Chapter 4 - A Model of Evangelism (p35)

The paradigm of Paul's conversion on the road to Damascus pushes us towards the extraordinary and the spectacular, emphasis in the moment rather than the journey (p35). This makes us think in a straight line rather than a meandering line (36). John Finney's research shows that 3/4 of Christians come to faith gradually, more like the road to Emmaus than Damascus (p36). The image of Emmaus runs throughout the book. The ministry of nurture (p37); not just contact with the church but with God (p37). "Evangelism must ... never be satisfied with anything less than the making of disciples" (p39). The growth spiral (p39). We accompany people through a process: "God is the evangelist" (p41).

Chapter 5 - Building A Place of Nurture

Belonging comes before believing (p45); "Welcome, from a Christian standpoint, means welcoming change" (p46). ENQUIRERS' GROUPS To "explore faith ... and experience Christian community" (p47); challenged but not pressured; key questions about courses (47). Alpha and Emmaus, particularly good assessments of strengths and weaknesses of both (47-50). Liturgies on the journey to Baptism (55-56). Resources: (p56-58. Summary: you can't give what you haven't got; coming to faith is more like a journey than an event; best form of evangelism is Christ like behaviour of ordinary Christians; belonging comes before believing (p59).

Chapter 6 - Getting Started/Developing Contact (p61)

Before belonging we need to be a blessing to our local community (p63). The Emmaus Road question: "what are these people discussing as they walk along?" (p65). Then we ask what the Gospel has to say to them but we must not confuse the end (belief) with the beginning of the journey (p65). If we think of a jewel, we ask which facet is likely to illumine (p65). What message do they want to hear (p65). The Gospel must be intriguing (p66). Then, what event can bring people together? (p66). Each such gathering event should have a next step (71); a simple response card works well (p71-72). In the Emmaus story the disciples ask Jesus to stay even though they don't know who he is (p73-74). Important principles of Evangelism:

Additional elements: visiting (p76-77); those attending occasional offices (p77-78).

Chapter 7 - Conversion (p82)

Different people move from fellow-travellers to pilgrims in different ways (p82); the point when the journey of life becomes the journey home (p82);

Chapter 8 - Helping People to Grow in Their Faith/Building Community (p90)

"The journey to faith becomes the journey of faith" (p90). The object of evangelism is not to bring people into church but to send the church out into the world (p90; we are apostles and disciples; we are the gathered-in and sent-out church (90); "It is the great English heresy to believe that being a Christian equals being good" (91); what marks out the Christian life is what we can do with God's grace. The apostolic life: prayer, fellowship, lifestyle, service, witness, knowledge of the faith (p91).

Ongoing growth (p102): ongoing groups for growth; shared pastoral care; shared leadership (p103).

Chapter 9 - Evangelising Worship (p105)

belief should shape worship (p107); imagine the church from the standpoint of the visitor (106-107). The welcome (109); The Dance: worship is participative. "We need to think of the space we occupy and the way we journey round it" (110. Music (114); words ([115) The sending out (p116); evangelistic preaching (p116). Can The Eucharist Evangelise? (p119) He strongly disagrees that Eucharist is inappropriate for people new to church: "... the one service given to us by Jesus ... the Church of England has muddled accessibility and credibility" (p119). "We must shape the way we celebrate the Eucharist so that it includes people" (p120).    "There is an irony in the Church of England ... we tend to ring-fence the table and offer an open font" (p120). Other services (121); Fresh Expressions (124). The converting power of Worship (p127).

A Closing Meditation - Mary The Evangelist (p131)

A Prayer Inviting God to Use Us in The Ministry of evangelism (p134)