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Role Models: There are always persons whom the community establishes as role models whose lives are to be imitated. Some are living persons, such as those the community establishes as teachers. Others, such as the saints, are dead, and their lives we remember and celebrate. Evangelization requires that the church provide sponsors whose lives the catechumens can imitate.

Disciplines: Communities encourage persons to practice particular behavior, such as the making and keeping of promises, simplicity of lifestyle, caring for the natural world, regular daily prayer, and meditation on Scripture. During the period of evangelization, catechumens are to be encouraged to develop, by practicing Christlike virtues, disciplines that will shape their characters.

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Language: How we talk influences how we behave. For example, when possessiveness dominates the way we speak, then we begin to believe that we can and ought to have things. How we name good and evil influences how we live. Inclusiveness of language influences how we treat each other. Thoughtful evangelization requires that we reflect on how we speak in the church so that what we say and what we do correspond to each other and are manifestations of the Christian life of faith.

Conclusions

Chilcote, P. W., & Warner, L. C. (Eds.). (2008). The study of evangelism : Exploring a missional practice of the church. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.. Created from amridge on 2022-10-21 03:59:40.

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To be baptized is to become a Christian; to live into that baptism is to become Christian, that is, to live a Christlike life of faith. Evangelization is the process by which a person prepares to become a Christian, and catechesis is the process by which a person shows that he or she is Christian.

If we engage in evangelization, in the Christian initiation of adults, we will need to take seriously not only evangelism — to attract persons to the Christian faith and the church — but also evangelization, to prepare them adequately for baptism.

Nevertheless, I suspect there will be obstacles to accepting evangelization that will need to be addressed. Some will say it is too impractical for our day. Some will resist it because they are unfamiliar with it and because it involves change. Others will not be comfortable with the language of formation and will insist that instruction, which is more familiar, is all that is needed. There will also be those who believe that evangelization is too difficult and too demanding to be popular. Regardless, if the church is to be faithful, it must take evangelization and catechesis seriously, for two facts cannot be doubted: (1) After almost two thousand years of proclaiming the gospel, there are still millions of people who have not accepted the gospel; and (2) after baptizing persons for the same length of time, the lives of those baptized are rarely significantly different from the lives of the unbaptized. Perhaps fact two helps to explain fact one.

Suggested Reading

William Abraham, The Logic of Evangelism (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1989). Richard Armstrong, The Pastor as Evangelist (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1984). A. Theodore Eastman, The Baptizing Community (New York: Seabury, 1982). Michael Green, Evangelism in the Early Church (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1989). Johannes Hofinger, S.J., Evangelization and Catechesis (New York: Paulist, 1976). Urban Holmes, Turning to Christ (New York: Seabury, 1981). Mark Searle, Christening (Collegeville, Minn.: The Liturgical Press, 1980). Robert Webber, Celebrating Our Faith (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1986). John Westerhoff and Carolyn Hughes, Living Into Our Baptism (Wichita: St. Mark’s Press,

1992).

Chilcote, P. W., & Warner, L. C. (Eds.). (2008). The study of evangelism : Exploring a missional practice of the church. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.. Created from amridge on 2022-10-21 03:59:40.

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