Brian Gill's Reviews > Sharing Your Catholic Faith Story: Tools, Tips, and Testimonies

Sharing Your Catholic Faith Story by Nancy H.C. Ward
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Recommended for: Folks who wonder how why Catholics become or stay Catholic, or want evangelizing "tools and tips."

As the title says, Nancy H. C. Ward's book gives you "tools, tips and testimonies."

The first half opens with a definition of "faith story" and discussion of why evangelizing matters and ends with an "Ask Yourself" section. So do the rest of Part 1's chapters.

'Tools and tips' start with Chapter 4, "Start with Your Spiritual Journal." This chapter has two "Ask Yourself" sections, one at the end and another before the "Best Practices for Keeping a Spiritual Journal" section.

I'm one of those folks who hasn't kept a journal: spiritual or otherwise. Journaling seems like a very good idea. That's why I've tried keeping a journal. "Tried" being the key word. So far, journaling is something that I haven't been able to do.

That's a tad frustrating, since the first of five points covered in Chapter 7, "Five Tools for Stirring the Waters of Christian Testimony," is Spiritual Journal. The other four are Timeline of Faith Events, Faith Biography, Formal Testimony and Elevator Speech.

But it's not all that frustrating, since Ward explains why the five tools are important. Basically, they're - for most folks - pretty good ways of organizing ideas.

As she says: "...You don't need to memorize word-for-word the facts of your faith story or your elevator speech. Just spontaneously give the highlights of how you became a Catholic, or why you returned to or remain in the Church. Be ready to elaborate...."

We run into another list in Chapter 9, "Gentleness and Reverence: Tips for Sharing Your Faith Story:"

1. Be specific, not vague
2. Speak in the listener's language
3. Speak with substance, not just emotion
4. Speak the truth
5. Keep focused
6. Avoid self-righteousness
7. Don't pick apart other people, churches, or ministries
8. Stick to your part of the story
9. Discretely avoid sordid details
10. Relax. Speak matter-of-factly

Those ten points make sense to me: not just for sharing why I'm a Catholic, but in almost any sort of conversation. I've also run into Catholics, and others, who did pretty much the opposite of what's recommended here. And that's another topic.

"Sharing Your Catholic Faith Story's" Part 2 is thirty "testimonies:" including mine.

We're a motley bunch: an atheist-turned-Catholic, cradle Catholics, a former Mormon and previously-Protestant Catholics. I'm in the last category.

A few of the other 29 folks have a "faith story" that's a bit like mine, more intellectual than emotional. Others are, by my standards, brimming with bubbly effervescence. Like I said, we're a motley bunch. What we have in common is a love for and acceptance of Jesus.

I plan on reviewing "Sharing Your Catholic Faith Story" after what I'll call a cooling-off period. Who knows? I might even start a spiritual journal: and stick with it.
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Reading Progress

August 12, 2019 – Started Reading
August 21, 2019 – Shelved
August 21, 2019 – Shelved as: faith-belief-religion
August 22, 2019 – Finished Reading
August 26, 2019 – Shelved as: favorites

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