What are key factors that bear the greatest fruit when handing on the faith? Our Faith Formation Programs will bear the most fruit when we foster the following:
1. Authentic Witness – When we are sharing how Christ is working in our lives and are excited and convicted about the truths of the faith then our students notice. Do our students hear us and see through the language of our bodies the love and joy we have in following Christ? Witnessing this is key. Pope Paul VI said, “Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than he does to teachers and if he listens to teachers it is because they are witnesses.” Give witness to Christ and whatever you are presenting on during a given day express your love of Christ and the transforming power of that which you are proclaiming.
2. Concrete to Abstract… It’s easier to tell kids what to believe and to tell them what the facts or truths are. But are we meeting them at their developmental level by helping them understand what we want them to know and learn? Are we beginning with the concrete, with the senses and then proceeding to the abstract/invisible? For example when talking about the Mass it’s better to show them physical objects than it is to merely tell them. Helping them understand what is invisible through what is visible will dramatically improve the engagement of students.
3. Invite, Invite, Invite… help your students see that Jesus is inviting them to come closer to Him, inviting them to follow Him, inviting them to live as He shows us. Help them see that they are being invited to be a part of something amazing, wonderful, and out of this world – literally!
4. Personal…. How are you helping them see that this message is a personal message. One that is for them and real. Jesus wants them to know that he loves them personally not merely that “he loves everyone”, but that he loves “you”.
5) Faithful… The message we proclaim should be faithful to Christ and His Church. It is not our personal opinion, our “personal take” on things but we are handing on the truths of the Catholic Faith. It is vital that we are handing on the message of the Church whose mission is to proclaim Christ and draw believers into full participation of the Christian life.
How do you see these things to be true regarding how we can bear fruit when handing on the faith?