How to Start a Conversation of Faith

Last week, I had dinner with several priests who are pastors in D.C. They asked how things are going in our parish, and I told them about our new street evangelization program which begins this weekend. They were intrigued, and wanted to know all about it! It was obviously good and reaffirming to see the interest of my fellow pastors, but we also saw this from our own congregation. When we had our street evangelization training a few weeks ago, twice as many Assumption parishioners attended the 3-hour session as we had expected. This already has the feel as if it’s from the Holy Spirit. Please, Jesus!

The twelve of us at the training truly enjoyed it, and benefited from the presenter’s insights, experiences and stories. We went there wondering how to start a conversation with strangers about Christ and the faith, and what is the best way to answer questions about what we believe. And, we came away feeling equipped with answers. With the hope that this will be illuminating and helpful for your own evangelization, the following are some of the things we learned:

Use one of these icebreakers to start a conversation about faith with someone:

1) The Rosary – Hi, would you like a free rosary? Yes? Great! Did you know that the Rosary is a prayer? Yes, it is a meditation on the life of Jesus. Here is a pamphlet on how to pray it. Do you go to church?

OR

2) The Miraculous Medal – Hi, would you like a free Miraculous Medal? Great, here is a holy card that explains the medal. Basically, in 1830, Jesus’ mom Mary appeared to St. Catherine and promised whoever wears this medal will receive great grace from God. Many miracles have occurred through it and it is commonly known as the miraculous medal. It’s on a chain here so you can put it on right now. Do you go to church?

OR

3) Pope Money – Hi, have you seen this million dollar bill yet? Yeah, it’s got Pope Francis on the front and explains the Gospel on the back. Do you go to church?

OR

4) Holy Card – Would you like one of these free Holy Cards of Jesus? Great! Do you go to church?

Do you go to church?

That simple question with a young man we (St. Paul’s Street Evangelization) never met before led to the start of a conversation that would bring him back to the Catholic faith. After just two minutes, the young man was in tears. Less than ten minutes later, we were waiting in line with him for confession.

Some basic parts of the story of salvation:

  • God created you in His image and likeness.
  • Due to sin we have a broken relationship with God. The bad news is hell.
  • Jesus Christ became man, died on the cross, and rose for our salvation.
  • We are saved by faith in Jesus Christ.
  • Through the Church we have access to the grace of baptism and are nourished by the Eucharist.
  • The Holy Spirit changes us, his grace perfects our nature and he fulfills our every true desire.

Personal Testimony

  • Share with those you meet!
  • Your conversion story was written by God
  • Removes barriers
  • Nothing more powerful
  • Can’t be refuted

More to come…

May you know the peace of Christ,

Fr Greg