“Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses.”
Pope Paul VI, Evangelii Nuntiandi, 41
When we titled the book 31 Days to Becoming a Religious Educator, there was a long discussion about what term to use to refer to you. Should we say catechist, religion teacher, or religious educator? Since I wanted to create something that was valuable in both the parish setting and the Catholic school setting, I felt religious educator worked best. But in all honesty, I hope these 31 days help you become more than just a better religious educator, I hope they help you become a better witness.
A witness is someone who lives and shares an authentically Christian life. A witness is open to constant conversion, always seeking to do God’s will no matter how many failures. A witness is open to continuous conversion and imitation of Christ. Witnesses take up their crosses daily and live and share the Christian life no matter how hard it may be. They are driven by their close connection to and love of God.
What does it take to become a witness? As witnesses we all go through steps that I call the Conversion PROCESS.
P: Prior Experience
R: Receive Grace
O: Openness to Grace
Read pages 162-163 about the Conversion PROCESS. (You can also read more about PROCESS when you sign up for the free eBook, The Religion Teacher’s Guide to Lesson Planning.) Answer the questions on pages 162-163 about a religious experience that has brought you closer to God.
The goal of answering the questions about a religious experience in your past is to get you excited to share this experience as a testimony for your students. They need to see your passion. They need to see how they can have similar experiences in their own lives.
If you are interested in an example testimony, here is a short summary of my first life-changing encounter with Christ: Day 31 Reflection on Facebook.
Also, check out this tutorial on “How to Prepare a Personal Witness Talk & Testimony for Every Class.”