Here is a brilliant idea for advertising: Matchbook covers. Print your information on a matchbook and every time a person needs a light they will get out the matchbook with your information on it and be reminded of your organization.
Or at least it was. Of course people no longer smoke like they used to. Those who do tend to use lighters. And if you need matches for the grill, chances are you bought a box of them at the hardware store.
Not so brilliant anymore. Your information didn’t change – your audience did.
That is part of the reason for the New Evangelization. We can’t just keep doing what we did a century ago and expect it to work. The audience has changed.
It is the same thing with our schools. We can no longer just open our doors and expect the place to fill up. There is a new audience out there. Not the least new thing about them is that now they have to shell out somewhere around $3,000 when Catholic grade school education used to be free. So why should a parent send his kid to Catholic school and how do I get that message out to him?
So it is with the faith. The content is exactly the same as it was a century ago, or five centuries ago, or 20 centuries ago (at least in the Catholic Church.) But how it is packaged for the Smiths next door in 2014 must be different than how it was presented to the smithy in 1542.
As one commentator put it, though we lose an incredible amount of Catholics in the U.S. every year, we have the highest retention rate into adulthood of those who are practicing than any other denomination. The problem is not service - it’s sales. We seem to do well statistically once they are in the door. The problem is getting them in the door in the first place.
Every Catholic is, in a sense, a salesperson for Christ. Every Catholic is a minister in the New Evangelization.
Make God’s investment in you pay off for others. Join in the New Evagelization.