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Small-Community Ideas that Work: Evangelization


Small Christian communities can take part in the evangelization that all baptized Christians are called to. We do that by allowing ourselves to be touched by the Gospel so profoundly that we in turn become Good News and attract others. How can that happen in your parish? Here are some hints:
 
Make invitation a ministry
Create an invitational ministry or re-vitalize a dormant one. Find two people in your parish who know a lot of folks (and have a welcoming personality) to serve on your parish team and take the lead on inviting new participants. Personal invitation works best, but consider including a person with skills in social media and marketing.
 
Reach out to the lost
Look up all infants baptized six years ago and see which ones are not attending religion classes. Contact the families about enrolling the children and mention that small communities are available for the adults.
 
Invite the newly confirmed
Collaborate with the parish RCIA team to invite newly confirmed adults into small Christian communities.
 
Let the young find the young
Form a core group of young adults. Pass on what you have learned about small Christian communities, invitation, and faith sharing. Ask them to identify other young people who may or may not be coming to church. Direct them to the RENEW International Theology on Tap web site for resources for young adult outreach and meetings: www.theologyontap.org.
 
Evangelize over “coffee and”
Have your parish team sponsor coffee and donuts one Sunday and then greet the community wearing T-shirts that say, “Ask me about my small community.” Be prepared to register those interested.
 
Host a parish meal
Invite everybody, to a barbeque or pot-luck meal then have your pastor give an after-dinner talk thanking all the small-community leaders and sharing some positive remarks about SCCs. Have a sign-up table.
 
Make SCCs more visible
Put up a poster in the narthex for each small Christian community with a picture of the leader (or the whole small Christian community) along with the time and place the group meets. Ask people to look over the posters and write their names on the poster of the community they want to join.
 
Engage young parents
Invite parents of children who are in the First Communion class to an informal get-together (coffee, breakfast, barbeque, potluck). Have a short presentation led by young adults in which they are encouraged to support their children’s catechesis by coming together in a small community.
 
Take advantage of resources
Call 1-888-433-3221 to discuss the variety of resources available from RENEW International, or check our website at www.renewintl.org. Many planning teams are effectively using RENEW International’s Prayertime resource which is based on the Lectionary and will carry you through the whole year.

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