As I’ve done on an occasional basis for the last few months, I’m turning over my column space here to another voice whose good work is relevant to the theme of the 2018 synod: “Young people, the faith, and vocational discernment.”
Chris Stefanick began his career as a successful youth minister but has since developed into one of the most effective Catholic evangelists in the United States. The founder of Real Life Catholic, Stefanick’s live events reach more than 85,000 people each year – and his online videos, TV show and radio spots have reached millions. He offers his thoughts on the synod and its goals below.
Commentator - Pundit - Statistician - Trends - Culture
I’m not a theologian. I’m not a cultural commentator. I’m not a pundit. I’m not a statistician who can track all the trends in youth culture. I’m an evangelist, and have been for my entire “career.” All I have to share is the work I do. All I can appeal to is what I see working. And what I see working is a return to the basics.
My work isn’t ground-breaking or complex. There is no secret formula. In fact, I strive to run the least innovative ministry in the Catholic Church. The central driver of our ministry is a parish-based evangelistic outreach event for all ages.
Events - Towns - People - Mile - Radius
Our events are consistently full. Even in small towns we typically get 1,000 people — and it’s usually from just a 20 mile radius. Pastors tell us that up to 70 percent of the crowds at our events aren’t “the usual pew sitters.” It’s also very clear that half of the people in our audiences are millennials.
Our outreach plan consists of coaching parish teams of volunteers to reach out to their entire community and personally invite people home to the Church. When local parish outreach teams get...
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Millions in tribute, but not a penny left for charity.