Connection to Christ
Establishing a solid foundation is the most important step in ministry; for you cannot give what you do not have. To impart change and renewal in others, we must be continually changed and renewed ourselves. “This is crucial: we must be converted — and we must continue to be converted!” (USCCB, Go and Make Disciples). The EC helps individuals and communities revitalize their life-giving connection with Jesus Christ (Jn 15:5; Lk 12:49).
“Those who have come into genuine contact with Christ cannot keep him for themselves, they must proclaim him” (Novo Millennio Ineunte, 40). Pope John Paul II strikes at the heart of the second tier of the EC’s work — authentic human relationship where personal witness of Jesus Christ spills over into the lives of others. This requires relationships. From one person to another, the love of God is shared.
Intentional Ministry — the EC Model
“Without a vision, the people perish” (Pr 29:18). Likewise, without a vision, the church falters. The Evangelical Catholic helps parishes and campus ministries to be intentional about the mission God entrusted to all of us — “Go and make disciples” (Mt 28:19). Offering a comprehensive vision for evangelization and a practical strategy for implementation, the EC Ministry Model gives leaders the vision and tools they need to prioritize people over programs. The “Four Es”, illustrated with a baseball diamond, comprise this model.
Evangelizing encompasses the first baseline. Our evangelizing efforts are designed to foster an encounter with Jesus Christ that leads to authentic interior conversion. These efforts are the missionary dimension of catechesis (General Directory for Catechesis, 58). Arriving at first base represents we have personally encountered Jesus Christ risen from the dead.
Establishing encompasses the second baseline. Having an initial encounter with Jesus Christ is not sufficient to sustain a lifetime of holiness, faithfulness and fruitfulness in God’s kingdom. Our faith needs to be continually nourished so as to put down roots. This stage is principally defined by the task of catechesis, “initiating (new believers) into the knowledge of faith and apprenticeship in the Christian life” (General Directory for Catechesis, 56c). Arriving at second base means we are mature, strong, discerning, rooted in Word and Sacrament, and solidly committed to Jesus Christ in our lives.
Equipping encompasses the third baseline. This stage helps disciples to consider how they were beautifully and uniquely made, with unique gifts and charisms, with unique vocations (lay, religious, and ordained). Additionally, this stage helps disciples to be equipped for ministry, giving them the tools they need to live out their vocation (whatever that may be) to the greater glory of God. Again, the Magisterium teaches, “Catechesis nourishes not only the life of faith but equips it to explain itself to the world” (General Directory for Catechesis, 85).
Engaging encompasses the fourth and final baseline (coming home). Once people have personally encountered the risen Lord, dedicated their life to Christ, grown in maturity as a Christian disciple, and acquired the habits and skills to live out their calling in life, they are now ready to out and exercise those gifts in the world for Christ or, in a word, to engage.
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The Discipleship and Leadership Pyramid illustrates the foundations of the EC ministry model.
A baseball diamond illustrates how EC Ministry works.