You’re getting bombarded with new programs every week – ministry programs that claim to lead hundreds into RCIA, pack the pews, invigorate the young people in your church and so on. It’s a sign of the times. We all know that demographically, Catholicism is declining in the Western Hemisphere, and we are all looking for ways to reverse the trend. The best way? Lean into the power of personal invitation.
But have you ever thought that maybe what you need is not another program, but to simply improve upon what you’ve already done? If you’ve been running the same Bible study for years and it’s great, maybe you shouldn’t chuck it out the window when the newest Bible study program gets published!
Instead, look to the people who are regularly coming to parish programs and events. Each of those attendees knows one, five, or even ten people who need to hear the Gospel proclaimed through your parish ministries. But Catholics, as a rule, aren’t great at evangelization. So what to do?
It’s simple – talk to your most faithful parishioners about the power of personal invitation. Encourage them to pray for opportunities to invite others to your parish. And train them in the art of personal invitation. There is nothing more welcoming than something like, “Hey, this holy hour is happening at my church. I know you’ve been having a tough time lately. I’m going to be there. Would you like to come with me and just enjoy an hour of quiet?”
This is what true accompaniment looks like – not seeking to fix other people’s problems, but merely inviting them to “come and see.” You don’t need more programs – you just need to invite people to participate in the programs you already have. Lean on the power of personal invitation and see what happens.