When I agreed to become Editor of the Learn and Live the Faith Portal at Catholic Lane, I knew it was going to involve work. What I didn't realize is how much fun it would be. I've got a great boss who has stood by my decisions and allowed me a lot of freedom to run that section of the website, and I think it's paid off. I've been blessed to have some great talent to work with, and traffic has responded accordingly. Every now and then I write something that generates buzz as well. We are having a lot of fun doing things differently at Catholic Lane, and it is paying off.
I look forward to continuing that tradition in 2014. With that in mind, Catholic Lane is going to be doing a new series in 2014, something I like to call The Bad Apologist and Evangelist Club. (That's a working title of course, if anyone has a better idea let me know!) One of the things our Holy Father Pope Francis has put a premium on is evangelizing. He wants Catholics to get out there in the world and start aggressively spreading the Gospel. This is a good thing, and I hope a lot of Catholics (readers included!) respond to the Holy Father's call. One thing we should keep in mind though: a lot of people are going to make a lot of rookie mistakes in evangelizing, and these can be costly.
Nobody knows this better than those of us who have been doing apologetics and evangelization for awhile. I'm on year 14 as a Catholic, and most of them have been spent being bold with my various apostolates. In those fourteen years I've helped reach a lot of people with the Catholic Faith. I've also alienated quite a few as well. My professionalism and charity have earned me a lot of brownie points with those I'm trying to reach, just so I could have the opportunity to blow it all away with arrogance, condescension and bad arguments. My story is far from unique, everyone knows this story if you have ever tried to share the love of Christ with someone. Looking back, I realize how so many of those mistakes could have been easily avoided.
That is the purpose of The Bad Apologist and Evangelist Club. I'll be putting together several writers (myself included) to give you the rookie mistakes we have seen and (most likely!) made ourselves when it comes to apologetics and evangelization. We are going to talk about what makes those rookie mistakes so appealing, why they are ultimately wrong, and a better way to handle the situation. Most importantly, I want this series to serve as an examination of conscience for all those doing the vital work of apologetics and evangelization. We need to look over every word we have shared to see if it really is effective, or if it is something we really need to stop doing. There could be a very real chance that our proposed solutions lead to more mistakes. At that point, hopefully a constructive dialogue occurs and everyone looks to make everyone else better.
We have five ideas so far, and plenty more will be coming. This will be a monthly series at Catholic Lane starting in January. If you are interested in working on this topic, feel free to get in touch with me here at the comboxes, email, or @CatholicSmark on Twitter.