In his book, 31 Days to Becoming a Better Religious Educator, Jared Dees asks catechists to define their calling. In Catholic-speak, “calling” is a big word. When I think of “calling,” I think of Noah or Jonah or Peter. I think about those big, important Bible heroes who actually heard God’s voice.
In current times, I think of priests and nuns as having a calling. Some lay people like Dorothy Day and Nelson Mandela have a calling. It took me a long time to realize I also have a calling. And so do you.
I had a friend who struggled with this too (and he was priest!). He used to say, “Lord, I will do whatever you ask of me. Just fax it to me in large print.” In other words, how do I know that this is what God is calling me to? Am I really a called-by-God-RCIA-catechist? Or am I just helping out?
How to know if we are called to RCIA ministry
Jared suggests we deepen our understanding of God’s call by exploring why being a catechist is important to us. He asks a series of questions to help us develop a “Big Why List.” By answering these questions, we will start to understand more clearly what our specific call is. I am adapting his questions a little bit for RCIA catechists:
- What is the one thing about God that the catechumens need to understand most?
- What is the one belief catechumens struggle with the most?
- What one spiritual practice would most benefit the catechumens?
- If I could help the catechumens make one change in their lives, what would that be?
- What aspect of faith are the catechumens missing most in their lives?
- What are the biggest problems the catechumens face?
Once you have written down answers to those questions, circle the answer that makes you the most excited or riled up. The thing that gets you most riled up is “God’s voice.” That is what the Holy Spirit put on your heart and made your concern. That is your call. Your specific, custom-made, one-of-a-kind call to discipleship. God is asking you to head out to the Nineveh of your day to proclaim the good news about the one thing you are most concerned about for your catechumens.
When I did this exercise, the thing that jumped out at me right away was that the catechumens really need to know how much God loves them—just as they are. So many of them come to us with a sense of unworthiness and second-bestness. My call is to keep telling them and showing them how much God loves them.
What are you called to?
You might think you are just helping out on the team and you don’t have a true calling. If that’s the case, I urge you to try this exercise. Spend some significant time thinking about and praying about the questions above. And then come back and share with us what your call is. What is God asking you to do?
4 thoughts on “Are you called to RCIA ministry? How do you know?”
I thank you, your team and the Holy Spirit for all of the resources available at Team RCIA. I look forward to your next webinar.
I know that my calling is to share my passion of falling in love with Jesus. That is the crux of our faith. If we don’t share our love of Jesus and the love that Jesus has for each one of us, then we are missing the central message of the Gospel which is found in Luke 10:27: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” How can a person fulfill this command if he/she has not experienced the love of God in his/her life?
That is not only my calling but it is the joy of my life to share this message of the love of God. As Pedro Arrupe, S.J. wrote, “Falling in love with God changes everything…”
I need to share that God is relevant and important in your life. We need to experience God as individuals loved by God and within a community of faith that enables us to grow as followers of Jesus. That prayer is the answering of God’s personal contact with us and not just a way of asking for things. Abraham and Moses talked with God as a loving friend and father. We must do the same.
I think these are excellent questions that every RCIA team should be asking themselves