Grow and Go_DOL image
As we near the end of this year, it is worth looking at how we have grown in our relationship with Christ and meditate on what we might be able to do in the coming year to not only draw closer to Him, but to draw others to him as well. The Catholic Diocese of Lansing has set forth an initiative that we felt might help you plan some practical ways to GROW and GO in this coming year…

Q. What is it that the average Catholic is being asked to do?

A. The average Catholic is simply being asked to GROW and GO. That’s the catchy new terminology we’re using, though it makes it sound a little easier than it really is. Growing begins by yielding all of our life to Jesus Christ – by making him the center of all of our decisions and handing over lordship of everything to him. This can only happen through grace. Therefore, we should all pause on a regular basis to ask God to help us give him everything. Once we have sincerely converted and opened ourselves to the activity of the Holy Spirit, then we are really ready to begin maturing and growing as a disciple of Jesus Christ.

Throughout all the centuries of Christianity, there have been four basic nonnegotiable tenets of the Christian life (GROW):

  • Prayer. Personal and corporate. Every Christian is called to the sacraments and to daily personal prayer.
  • Study of the faith. From the very inception of the Christian community, we see that they devoted themselves to the “teachings of the apostles.” (Acts 2:42) We, too, need to continually grow in our knowledge and understanding of God’s word.
  • Engage in parish life. There’s no such thing as a lone Christian. We need each other. Christian companionship and accountability is a requirement of discipleship.
  • Serve others’ needs. In order to grow as a disciple of Jesus, we must always be aware of the physical and spiritual needs of those around us and be disposed to filling those needs.

The “GO” part comes from Jesus’ great commission to all of us … yep, all of us! “Go therefore and make disciple of all nations.” – a.k.a. evangelize. I should be clear that the “GO” part is inextricably connected to the “GROW” part because one cannot give what one does not have. Therefore, we must all be “intentional disciples” if we hope to be successful “missionary disciples.”

To help people understand how they can go evangelize, we’ve broken it down into four parts: pray, witness, invite and accompany. As stated before, prayer precedes and covers all of our work. When it comes to evangelizing, we must first lovingly pray for those who we want to bring into the family of God. Then we might find that God has opened a door for us to witness to Jesus in our lives and to his saving Gospel. Then, it only follows that at some point we will want to invite them to our Christian community and hopefully into full communion with us. The fourth principle is accompany. This one happens in countless ways, but the importance of it can’t be overstated. Accompanying is how we meet people where they are and patiently insist on their greatest good, Jesus.

Create your Personal Evangelization Plan. Use these questions to guide you as you Grow+Go:

To Grow as a disciple…

1. PRAY: When in your day will you commit to pray?
2. STUDY: What can you study, read and attend to learn about your faith this week?
3. ENGAGE: How can you become more involved in your parish?
4. SERVE: What can you volunteer to do this month to help those in need?

To Go and evangelize:

1. Ask the Holy Spirit to bring to mind someone in your life who is no longer coming to church. Write the person’s name on a piece of paper and answer these questions:
2. How will you pray for him/her?
3. How can you share your faith with him/her?
4. What could you invite him/her to?
5. How could you accompany him/her?

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