Vision 20/20 recap: Naming your faith story

Lindsay Steele
Delegates practice sharing their faith stories during a presentation, “Discovering, Naming and Telling Your Faith Story,” June 7 at St. Ambrose University in Davenport.

By Lindsay Steele
The Catholic Messenger

Sharing personal stories of experiencing the living God has always been among the most compelling and effective means of evan­gelization. Andre Lesperance, a senior ministry consultant and content developer with The Evangelical Cath­olic, shared this idea at a workshop at the Vision 20/20 Con­vocation in June at St. Ambrose Uni­versity. “Sharing Jesus more naturally in conversation … is a fundamental,” he said. “It’s like tapping into something we already know and drawing attention to it.”

During the workshop, “Discovering, Naming and Telling Your Faith Story,” Lesperance explained that sometimes the smallest things can make the biggest impact. Sharing personal testimony in daily conversation is one of those things. In his workshop, he explained how to tell faith stories in “natural, winsome ways” and gave participants time to practice.

The faith story is a tool that Catholics can pull out of their pockets at any time. “Let’s not be shy about it. Everyone has a story someone needs to hear.”

Opportunities to share a full-length faith story may be limited, so he encouraged the audience to look for ways to share snippets of their faith during ordinary conversations. “Tap into the personal experience, not just how Jesus is the Good News but how Jesus has been good to (you) … We can weave into our lives tiny little 10-second testimonies and then see who is interested and open.”

He told workshop attendees to focus on sparking interest and starting a conversation. “One minute can lead to 10 years of conversation.”

This presentation on Discovering, Naming and Telling Your Faith Story is available online via podcast at https://diocese-of-davenport.simplecast.com.

Most of the presentations from the Vision 20/20 Convocation are available for viewing and/or listening.

Topics include, accompanying immigrants; reaching out to families; evangelizing youths and young adults; evangelizing the “churched;” evangelizing in an age of secularism, atheism and scientism; hospitality; evangelizing in small parishes; and church teaching on sexuality and sexual identity.

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