The Social Evangelist: 3 Things Every Parishioner Can Do To Evangelize

When I first heard the word ‘evangelize’ in Catholic circles I thought I was in the wrong place.  I loved telling people about my parish and sharing the beauty of our faith with others, but I wasn’t getting that is a large part of what ‘evangelizing’ is.

Everyday most of us on social networks share what we’re having for breakfast, a thought that crossed our minds, big life events, etc. to the world.   Yet many rarely share they are Catholic in their profiles.  We “check in” at the restaurant and snap a photo to tell the world, but we don’t check in at Mass on Sunday.

Part of the problem in my opinion is because we have the wrong idea about what evangelizing means.  A simple way of looking at it is sharing the goodness of our faith with others.  Just as we do that everyday for businesses, products, ideas, etc. we can easily do it for our faith as well while being witnesses of The Truth.  We are ‘evangelizing’ by nature.  We are constantly telling others to “come and see” places, things, events, etc.  And “come and see” is a lot of what it means to evangelize.

Here’s 3 simple ways every Catholic can be a ‘Social Evangelist’ today:

  1. Put ‘Catholic’ in your profile – Facebook asks what your ‘religious views’ are.  Put ‘Catholic’.  Everywhere I have a profile I have ‘Catholic’ somewhere in there.  But what about potential employers?  You are allowed to be a religious person and go to Church.  
  2. Check in at Mass and Church events - The “check in” to me is one of the most genius social media things ever.  We all love telling people about a place we were at, but it’s always been after the fact.  The “check in” says, “I’m here now!”  You can check in on your Parish Facebook page, Foursquare, Google Local, or just post it on your network.  Add a photo too.  Not only are you telling people you are there, you are indirectly inviting them to “come and see”.
  3. Share a parish news story – Most parishes have a website or social profile(s).  Share something from one them through a “like”, a “retweet”, a “repin”, share a cause your parish is involved with, post linking to your bulletin or some parish event, etc.  There’s always something fun and/or newsworthy going on at every parish to share along.

All of these things are things many of you are doing every day online and we all know they are quick, easy, and fun.  So share along the great faith stuff in your life.

How do you evangelize online?

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Author:Brad West

I live in Palm Coast, FL with my family and have assisted my local parish with our website and communications. Our parishes today can benefit a great deal from technology. Whether it's improving communications, community building, evangelizing, business operations, and much more; we have the tools today. To help provide some direction and advice to parishes and parishioners, I wrote and published an eBook titled "The Connected Church" which is available through Barnes and Noble (Nooks and Nook apps) as well as Amazon (Kindle and Kindle apps).
  • http://craigberrymedia.com/ Craig Berry

    Interesting note about putting ‘Catholic’ in Facebook profile…

    We were doing some targeted Facebook advertising last year for Catholic Schools. As soon as we put in ‘Catholic’ as a criteria, the number of available profiles plummeted like a ROCK. In an Archdiocese of +600K Catholics, this was disconcerting (although not surprising).

    This just reinforced the findings of the CARA study from last year…i.e. a huge chunk of Catholics do not self-identify as such on the main social networks.
    http://www.usccb.org/news/2012/12-191.cfm

    • Brad West

      That piece in the CARA study really stood out to me. The question on my mind is why? Is it intentional? Is it just an oversight?

      What have you found?