Renewal Ministries recently released Game Changer, a booklet by i.d.9:16 Director Pete Burak. Below, Pete reflects on the inspiration behind Game Changer, which examines how a close relationship with the Holy Spirit is the key to fruitful engagement in the New Evangelization.
Over the last several years, many, many accomplished and respected Catholic leaders have promoted, educated, trained, and inspired people towards the New Evangelization. Reams of paper have been printed, gigabytes of information sent, and hours of talks recorded—all with the intention of helping people understand and embrace their call to “go make disciples of all nations.” Praise God for this movement of His Spirit! Praise God so many have answered His call! Praise God for all the INCREDIBLE resources available to those who long to grow!
And yet, as I digested as many of these tools as possible, I noticed an unsettling trend: in New Evangelization-specific content, the role of the Holy Spirit is often understated, diminished, or not even mentioned. Just like all trends, this one doesn’t encompass or apply to everything, and there are excellent resources focused on helping people live in the power of the Spirit, but overall, I kept seeing an inadequate portrayal of the Holy Spirit’s indispensable role in evangelization.
A restlessness developed in me as more New Evangelization “equipment” emerged without helping people connect to the necessary power source. We keep telling people, “You must evangelize,” and we tell them how to do it, but often we stop short of bringing them into direct contact with the same Spirit who launched the first apostles from the Upper Room. Pentecost follows the Great Commission, because Jesus wanted them to know their mission so they could immediately begin when the Holy Spirit came to fill them with holy power.
Game Changer presents a fresh perspective on the role of the Holy Spirit in evangelization. It is a far from sufficient treatment of these huge topics, but I hope it helps fill a gap in the current New Evangelization conversation. Jesus said, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you” (Jn 16:7).
Do we believe Him?