[ Faith-building WordBytes ]
For our Ministry Discernment Tools,
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You are a gift because God has created you to be gift. You are a gift because you desire to give of your skills and talents. You are unique; therefore, your evangelization ministry is unique. No one besides you can perform this service quite like you. God has matched the perfect ministry to your abilities and spiritual growth. The question of our calling is not: “What should I do to take God to others?” Rather, the question is: “What should I take of God to others? What has He given me to share?” (Excerpt from God has gifted you for ministry.)
- How to bring loved ones to Christ (podcast)
It’s heart-breaking to love someone who is stubbornly rejecting the truth about Jesus. It’s hard to watch them suffer the worldly effects of not turning to him to let him be their Savior. You want to bring your loved ones to Christ. You know how important faith in Christ is for their life now, and — the biggest heart-wrencher — you fear that they won’t spend eternity with you in heaven.
- Supernatural Evangelization: How God brings our loved ones to Christ (podcast)
God wants to do work supernaturally through us to bring others to conversion and faith growth. None of us can convince our loved ones who are rejecting Christ to change their minds and become faith-filled believers — not by our own efforts. God needs to intervene with supernatural evangelization.
- Do you know what to say to your unbelieving loved ones?
We pray for our unbelieving loved ones daily but we wonder if there is something we can say that would inspire conversion. “A Letter from a Mother to Her Family” is a good example for parents of adult children (and other loved ones) who are rejecting the Church and faith in Christ.
- Apostolate of the Laity (podcast series)
It was a prophetic message, given in the 1960s — more true today than when it was originally written. The Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity from Vatican Council II, says: “Since in our own times new problems are arising and very serious errors are circulating which undermine the foundations of religion” (even in the Church), “the moral order, and human society itself…” the lay faithful have a very important apostolate of renewing the Church from within.
- The Passion to Evangelize Boldly (The Passion of St. Paul)
A video (“The Secret to Success: What Are You Passionate About?” and four reflections on scriptures describe how to evangelize by learning from the examples set by Saint Paul. (1) Called and Commissioned to Evangelize (2) Evangelize as Self-sufficient But Not Independent (3) Finishing the Work Despite Hardships (4) Evangelize Courageously Empowered by the Spirit.
- Polite or Prophetic?
A reflection based on Luke 11:37-41. To be prophetic means we speak openly about something that God wants others to know. But this goes against our training. For example, when we’re invited over for dinner, what does our “conscience” tell us to do? It says (usually in a parental voice): “Always be polite!” But what if we’re feeling uncomfortable about the behavior or lifestyle or unChristian beliefs of the host?
- The Proof the World is Seeking: Turning Scandals into Evangelization
When someone hurts us publicly, this can become a good opportunity to evangelize those who witness it…. Everyone wants proof that God exists and is good, even when they don’t believe in him or want to obey him. So, they look to us who profess to be Christian for evidence. They want proof that Jesus can save them from their problems and hurts and fears.
- Sharing the Light of Christ
Jesus says in Luke 8:16-18 that we must never hide the light he has given us. Everything we have that’s from him must be shared with others, because Christ’s very nature is the sharing of all that is good. To be united to him means to share, with him. To hold onto anything for ourselves is so unlike him that his light within us weakens and fades, and the little that we cling to is lost.
- How to do effective ministry
Let’s look at how Jesus did ministry by studying Luke 18:35-43. We are all in situations where people around us could benefit from knowing Jesus, but they ignore Him, or from being healed by Jesus, but they don’t trust Him, or from seeing His activity in their trials more clearly, but they’re blind to it. We want to help them. We try to help them, but more often than not they refuse what we offer. What can we learn from Jesus’ style of ministry?
- What does it mean to be an apostle today?
Did you know that you’re an important apostle for today’s world? All of our lives, we’ve struggled to become somebody special. But when we get there, we find out that we still don’t feel important enough…. Apart from God, we are nothing. But in Him and through Him, we are special! We are apostles! He created us with a special purpose in mind.
- How to Be a Handmaid of the Lord, Like Mary
To get a deeper understanding of what her fiat, her “yes”, entailed — and what happens when we say “yes” to God — we need to look at the word “handmaid.” … Like Mary’s service, our ministries do not end when we leave the earth. We would do well to give our full “yes” now to our vocations as handmaids because in one way or another, we’ll still be doing it when heaven is our home.
- If Jesus could have used email
The following true story shows how we can make a difference taking the love of Jesus to others through the technology of email. You’ve probably received lots of emails telling you about somebody’s need for prayer and they ask you to pass the prayer request to everyone on your email list. Is this what Jesus would have done if he’d been able to use email when he walked the earth?
- Angels in Las Vegas
Are you ready to be God’s messenger of Good News at any time, at any place? Here’s the true story of someone who vacationed in Las Vegas to be with her family, and found herself right in the middle of an opportunity to share God’s love.
- Your Christian Vocation (by Saint John Paul II)
“Each Christian vocation comes from God and is God’s gift. However, it is never bestowed outside of or independent of the Church. Instead, it always comes about in the Church because, as the Second Vatican Council reminds us, ‘God has willed to make us holy and save us, not as individuals without any bond or link between us, but rather to make us into a people who might acknowledge Him and serve Him in holiness.'”
- The Testimony of Christian Galvan: “Ministry is joyful self-sacrifice”
Christian Galvan explains how discovering the joy of doing ministry led him to enter seminary to become a priest. In this video, he also inspires every listener to discover the joy of their own calling. God gives us gifts, he explains, and when we use those gifts, we fall in love with ministry. And ministry helps us discover our calling.
- The Testimony of Patrick Campbell: “I want to be Batman!”
Patrick Campbell turned a childhood dream of being a superhero into a real life ministry of fighting evil. His Saint Benedict ministry prays for the healing of families. Here’s his story. The founder of The Cross of St. Benedict, he has a ministry of praying for the healing of families. He and his family make beautiful crosses of St. Benedict as a powerful spiritual warfare weapon
The Master Needs You!
Ministry Discernment Tools
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- God has created you for a definite service
Saint John Henry Newman wrote:
God has created me to do Him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission. I may not know what it is in this life. But I shall be told in the next….
- God has gifted you for ministry
How generous are you with the gift of yourself? At your funeral, will people honor you because of what you did? Will they talk about how God gifted you? Will they discuss with each other the difference you made? You are a gift because God has created you to be gift. You are a gift because you desire to give of your skills and talents.
- Don’t underestimate your value
Too often, instead of listening to God tell us who we are, we believe what our parents, teachers, and other significant people have said about us. “You’ll never amount to anything!” may have been meant as a challenge to encourage us to strive for our full potential, but the child in us absorbed it literally. The words destroyed our self-image. Intellectually, we may have disagreed with the assessments of others, but deep inside, where the child blindly trusts those in authority, the child’s interpretation of the words has taken root.
- How can you be sure that is God’s will?
Discerning God’s will is not a complicated business. It is in reality, simple. It’s always available, and God always speaks in the vernacular — He speaks our language, because He wants us to hear Him. It’s His great desire that we hear Him. The complications set in when we try to hear God without doing our part to open the channels of communication. Divine guidance is God simply communicating with His children.
- What keeps us from knowing God’s will?
Here are the 10 most common ways that we block ourselves from knowing what God’s will is for our calling and any other guidance he wants to give: Resentment, Praying wrongly, Idolatry, Human reasoning, Opinions of others, Human desires, Disobedience, Taking too little time to listen, Doubt, and Distrust.
- 3 stages of Finding Your Calling
Calling … Confirmation … Commitment. The calling to ministry usually grows slowly out of the events of our life, work, talents, learned skills, and areas of interest. Most likely, you won’t wake up one morning with God’s voice booming, “Go forth and serve My people!” Nor will He send a fax. But if you pay attention to your inner urgings, to the types of service that bring you satisfaction, to the types of work that energize you, and to the gifts that others see and admire in you, the calling becomes recognizable.
- God does the extraordinary with ordinary people
Are you looking for a way to make a difference using the gifts God has given you? Would you like to do something extraordinary? Since the earliest days of the Church, the apostles worked side-by-side with lay people in ministry. “Scripture clearly shows how spontaneous and fruitful was this activity,” the bishops of Vatican Council II tell us in the Decree on the Apostolate of Lay People. “No less fervent zeal on the part of lay people is called for today,” they wrote of the laity’s “special and indispensable role in the mission of the Church.”
- Corporal and Spiritual Ministries of Mercy
Ideas on how to get involved in the ministries of the 7 Corporal Works of Mercy and the 7 Spiritual Works of Mercy. (1) Feed the hungry: Provide food and extend God’s mercy to needy individuals by teaching them how to work or farm to solve their food problems. (2) Give drink to the thirsty: Fight against water pollution; lead the spiritually thirsty to Christ; help the needy pay water bills….
- Self-Assessment Tests for Discerning Your Special Calling
Test #1: Getting to Know Your Giftedness. Test #2: What paralyzes me from saying yes to the right calling? Test #3: Testing Your Talents
- A prayer to become God’s Instrument
To be God’s instrument of ministry is the calling of every Christian.
O, my heavenly Father,
I give all of my life to You
in the name of Your Son,
my Lord Jesus Christ,
and through the power of
Your Holy Spirit. …