Yesterday I was talking to my spiritual director about evangelisation and it’s challenges and he said something very simple and profound!
“It’s about bringing people to the next step and that step might only be a very small step”.
At the Jesuit Church in Farm Street for example, every other Sunday there is a mass with a social group afterwards for LGBT Catholics which as you can see is not a lavish banquet but a simple cup of tea with some biscuits and cakes for everybody.
Now you might wonder what good this is but for a young LGBT person that may feel hated and unwanted by the catholic church, it may will bring them to the “next step” on their journey!
Now this next step might be 100 miles away from dropping on their knees and becoming a contemplative nun but nonetheless, it may may well be a significant step on their spiritual journey which God is in charge of and not us!
Evangelisation is largely about sowing seeds and at times the seeds are so very tiny and small that we can wonder if we are making any difference at all and if we let this attitude of wondering and questioning fester in us, it can lead to doubt, negatively and discouragement.
Sadly others at times can be quick to judge us too and indeed in my own ministry to the LGBT community there are some people who see my ministry of evangelisation to be nothing but an excuse to meet LGBT people and have sex!
The funny part is that I do meet a lot of LGBT people and many of them would quite like to have sex with me if I was open to it but quite frankly it’s not what I’m looking for and often we have very interesting conversations about God, about life and about the church.
What are the long term results? I don’t know but Jesus isn’t asking me to know and it’s not about numbers, it’s about hearts!
This is why we must be so very careful not to judge ourselves or to judge others who have been called to the ministry of evangelisation because it is one of the most difficult and challenging ministries.
We must also be very careful not to compare the ministry of evangelisation with the ministry of healing. I used to work in the healing ministry and in a way it was much easier because the people that came for healing were already believers and already understood about healing and were thirsty for more…..the total opposite mindset of those one meets evangelising!
Of course in the ideal world, the ministries of evangelisation and healing would work together because what better way to bring people to believe in God than by offering them healing….
And this my friends is what our monthly LGBT evenings are all about, a place where people we meet through our ministry of evangelisation can come and hopefully experience some healing through charismatic praise and prayer, talks, testimonies and of course the most healing prayer of all, the Holy mass.
And so tomorrow evening, why not come along and be a part of this ministry of evangelisation and healing and help others to make the “next step” on their journey to God however big or small that it may be!