Resource and Training Guide

One of the new methods [of evangelization] I would like to recommend is the work of St. Paul Street Evangelization… I, having personally participated in their work of street evangelization, enthusiastically endorse this group … I encourage you to join me in offering your prayers and support for this organization.

— Most Reverend Allen Vigneron
Archbishop of Detroit

With empty pews in so many parishes, what can we do?

Between 2000 and 2009 10.1% of Catholic Adults left the Catholic Faith. Of those who left the Church:

–> 71% said they “Just gradually drifted away.”
–> 65% said they “Stopped believing the religion’s teachings.”
–> 27% cited the sex abuse scandal as their reason for leaving.

Of those who identify themselves as Catholics who are 65 and older:
–> 45% are attending Mass on a “regular basis.”
Of those Catholics between the ages of 18-25:
–> fewer than 10% are attending Mass.

How is the Church, in the 21st century, going to invite modern man to conversion? To turn away from that sin which he thinks will answer his emptiness & brokenness, and to Jesus Christ and His Church which is ultimately the only place that he can find salvation? St. Paul Street Evangelization has the answer and it is as old as the Gospel.

The moment has come to commit all of the Church’s energies to a new evangelization … no believer in Christ, no institution of the Church can avoid this supreme duty: to proclaim Christ to all peoples.

Pope St. John Paul II in Remptoris Missio

How are we going to draw people back to the Sacraments of salvation?

In 2012, St. Paul Street Evangelization (SPSE) was established precisely to respond to that call through a simple and non-confrontational approach to public evangelization of the Catholic Faith. Since its inception in 2012, SPSE has spread to well over 200 locations in 8 countries and has been featured in or on the EWTN TV & Radio Network, the National Catholic Register, Catholic Answers Live, Catholic Connection, Radio Maria, the Catholic Channel on Sirius Satellite Radio, Archangel Radio, more.

Tens of Thousands of people have heard the Gospel and Thousands have become Catholic or come back home.

Establishing your own local team is a simple process but one that you need to carefully discern. Our national office will assist you through every step.

Parish & Diocesan Team Contact Person
Adam Janke, Program Director
St. Paul Street Evangelization
adam@stpaulse.com
1.517.455.5592

St. Paul Street Evangelization (SPSE) is a grassroots, non-profi t organization, dedicated to responding to the mandate of Jesus to preach the Gospel to all nations by taking the Catholic Faith to the streets. Christ calls every Catholic Christian to evangelize, and the Second Vatican Council repeated the summons, urging each of the baptized to bring the Gospel, found fully in the Catholic Church, to a culture that has largely reverted to paganism. As an on-the-street Catholic evangelization organization, St. Paul Street Evangelization provides an avenue for people to share the Person of Jesus Christ and the truth and beauty of the Catholic Faith with a hungry culture.

“Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious… What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, being the Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by man…he himself gives to all men life and breath and everything… In him we live and move and have our being.”

St. Paul preaches to the Athenians
Acts 17:22-28

Founded in May 2012, St. Paul Street Evangelization provides the tools and resources for Catholics to engage the culture in a simple, non-confrontational method of evangelization which involves making themselves available to the public to answer questions about the faith and to pray with those who request it. SPSE has had tremendous growth and now has teams throughout the United States and even internationally, such as in the Philippines.

But a person might ask, “How can lay people evangelize the Catholic faith so publicly? Isn’t that the job of priests and bishops?” The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “Lay people also fulfill their prophetic mission by evangelization, ‘that is, the proclamation of Christ by word and the testimony of life.’ For lay people, ‘this evangelization acquires a specific property and peculiar effi cacy because it is accomplished in the ordinary circumstances of the world’” (CCC 905). As a lay organization, St. Paul Street Evangelization works in fidelity and obedience to the Catholic Church and her Magisterium.

Building a Bridge of Trust

St. Paul Street Evangelization offers the tools and resources to evangelize in today’s culture.

Worldwide Street Evangelization Efforts

To evangelize, then, we must be open to the action of the Spirit of God, without fear of what He asks us or where He leads us. Let us entrust ourselves to Him! He enables us to live and bear witness to our faith, and enlighten the hearts of those we meet. How beautiful it is to see that young people are “street preachers” joyfully bringing Jesus to every street, every town square and every corner of the earth!

—Pope Francis

It comes as a surprise to many that Catholics engage in street evangelization, yet street evangelization is as old as the Church and has a long history — from the prophets to recent groups like Frank Sheed’s Catholic Evidence Guild.

There is a common misunderstanding that street evangelization is the same as “Bible thumping” or “proselytizing.” Street evangelization is not about tricking people, embarrassing them, yelling at them, or telling anyone that they are going to hell. It is not even about apologetics. Rather, it is about offering a listening ear, sharing in a conversation about Jesus Christ, and praying (for any reason) with those that want it. By taking our Catholic faith to the streets we aim to make the message of Jesus Christ accessible to everyone by being available to anyone.

Into the Street and Beyond

“And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal” (Luke 9:1-2, RSV-CE). Street Evangelization is but one of many necessary and effective methods of evangelization. It creates a bridge of trust and helps connect people to the Church and all of her institutions. St. Paul Street

Evangelization offers resources to take evangelization into the street whether literally, or through our relationships in everyday life. What makes the New Evangelization new is not that it takes place at a particular moment in time, rather that there is a special emphasis on the work of the laity in union with the Catholic Church as the principle agents of the New Evangelization.

Most of the people involved in St. Paul Street Evangelization are normal Catholics either in school or with families, jobs, and mortgages just like you. By being involved in St. Paul Street Evangelization we are learning to share the joy and peace that being a follower of Jesus has brought to our life – all in a non-confrontational way that others respond positively to.

The key to all of this is that we are actively sharing the message of Jesus Christ. Street evangelization is probably outside the comfort zone of many of us, but we can’t let that stop us. It is outside of our comfort zone where we grow.

Jesus Christ: The Model of All Evangelization

Throughout scripture Jesus speaks and teaches in public places to those who will listen. The lessons and the results vary, but one thing is clear, in his public ministry he took the proclamation of the Kingdom of God to the road. After the Resurrection, Jesus walked on the road to Emmaus with two disciples who at first did not recognize him. Jesus opened up the scriptures to them and set their hearts on fire (Luke 24:13-35). Even today Pope Francis is calling us to be agents of the New Evangelization and take our Catholic faith to the streets. While we communicate more often at our computers, there are still plenty of places in towns and communities where people gather and travel outdoors.

But does it work?

Although Catholic street evangelization might not look like what you expect, thousands of people have come back to the Church or have discovered a relationship with Jesus & His Church for the first time, through the efforts of our evangelists.

Here is what our teams do:

  1. A team of at least two Catholic evangelists choose a place in their city or town with a moderate to high level of pedestrian traffic. Examples of suitable locations include an open-air market, such as an art fair or farmers’ market; a bus-stop or subway station platform; a public park.
  2. The evangelists “set up shop” with a sandwich-board sign and a collection of materials: assorted pamphlets on aspects of Catholicism, holy cards, Rosaries, Miraculous Medals, etc. A small table or blanket is often useful for displaying the materials and drawing the attention of passersby, but it is not essential.
  3. The evangelists then say a prayer, invoking the Holy Spirit to guide their efforts for that day, asking to be courageous, humble, and docile to His promptings. They ask through Our Lady’s intercession for the Lord to send them the people He desires them to encounter, and they pray that all may be done for the greater glory of God.
  4. At this point, the evangelists simply wait for passersby to draw near and offer them free Rosaries. When someone stops to take a Rosary, the evangelizers also provide a pamphlet on how to pray the Rosary and attempt to further engage the person. A question that is often effective is “Are you Catholic?” as the answer can provide a springboard for further conversation in many different directions. By asking follow-up questions, the evangelizer can discover whether a person is a practicing Catholic, fallen-away Catholic, Protestant, New Ager, atheist, etc. — information that is key in guiding a conversation to meet that person where he or she “is at.” It is recommended to pray the rosary while waiting for people to approach or in between conversations.
  5. The above is the primary approach of St. Paul Street Evangelization. Our secondary approach, which involves door-to-door evangelization, may be used in locations that do not have an acceptable location to carry out our primary approach, or during the colder months of the year when people are less likely to be out and about. Like our primary approach, the evangelists conduct themselves in a non-confrontational way by politely introducing themselves and then asking if the homeowner would be interested in talking briefly about the Catholic Faith. Before doing door-to-door outreach, St. Paul Street Evangelization requires our teams to get permission from the local pastor before evangelizing those within his parish boundaries.
  6. Keep in mind that the evangelists are there to be a public witness to the Catholic Church and to be obedient to the Holy Spirit. They should be charitable, good listeners, willing to pray with people, humble. They are not to be argumentative or combative, but should certainly defend and explain the truths of the Catholic faith and challenge their listeners in a spirit of sincerity and compassion. They should remember that Christ said that those who are persecuted for His sake are blessed and should not let a conversation they perceive as a failure get them down. God works in all situations.
  7. While using this non-confrontational method of evangelization can be very effective at strengthening the faith of practicing Catholics, bringing back into the Faith fallen away Catholics, and converting to the Faith non-Catholics, we recognize that it is our job to plant seeds, and in the end, it is up to God to make those seeds grow.

Where are we located?

All over the world! See stpaulse.com/locations

Get Involved

St. Paul Street Evangelization offers the tools and resources to evangelize in today’s culture.

Become a Member

St. Paul Street Evangelization does not charge any of our teams annual fees to operate. Instead, those who believe in our mission share in the burden of supporting Catholic evangelists by becoming a member of St. Paul Street Evangelization and making a monthly or yearly financial pledge that they can afford. Most of our members give between $15-20 a month. All members have access to the hundreds of resources on our website.

Start or Join a Street Team

We need ordinary Catholics like you to do the extraordinary work of evangelization by starting a street evangelization team in your area. We do not directly bill our teams, so it is easy to get started. The costs involved to purchase the resources you need in order to be visible on the street are very low. Logon today and start or join a team.

Join our Newsletter & Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook and join our weekly e-newsletter. We send regular updates of new resources, tools, methods, and stories of real Catholic evangelists sharing their faith. You’ll be inspired by the miracles that still take place every day. You’ll be one of over 170,000 keeping track of our activities.

Become a Prayer Warrior

When we evangelize, the brokenness of the world becomes apparent. Our team members meet people who have urgent, sometimes life threatening, prayer requests. Abuse, sickness, suicide, poverty, hunger, drug addiction, homelessness — we hear it all. And our evangelists share those prayer requests on our Prayer Warrior page. Become a Prayer Warrior.

Become an Apologist

Ask a question, get an answer. We have a special apologetics board to assist our evangelists during those times when apologetics helps in the evangelization process. You don’t need to be good at apologetics to be an evangelist, but when questions come up our team is here to help. Become one of our apologists and help answer questions with our evangelists.

Online Training

St. Paul Street Evangelization offers the tools and resources to evangelize in today’s culture.

Online Training Courses & Evangelist Certification

You can now take online evangelization courses to become a certified evangelist. Our online courses will teach you both the content of the faith and how to become a better evangelist in everyday life through simple techniques that we all know, but often don’t think of when the time comes. Each of these courses can be printed for offline reading.

STEP 1: Basic Evangelization Training
STEP 2: Evangelical Apologetics
STEP 3: SENT: Practical Evangelization in a Modern Culture
–> Advanced Training: The Leadership Training Institute (live training)
–> Supplement: The Catechetical Instructions of St. Thomas Aquinas

Online Training Modules

In addition to our official courses in the New Evangelization we have dozens of printable and video formation modules for you to read and watch from experts such as Sr. Ann Shields, Dr. John Bergsma, and Fr. Ben Luedtke. Topics include prayer, scripture, the kerygma, building your team, miracles, tools to really evangelize, the contemplative life, the call to holiness, and more.

Evangelization Team Development

Our primary charism at St. Paul Street Evangelization is to share our faith in public through street evangelization. To that end we have built a comprehensive set of tools for anyone who wants to make their own street team. We will teach new team leaders how to get started, how to build their team, what resources they need, supply them with those resources, and create new resources as the need arises for our evangelists. From templates, step by step guides, graphic design set up, public service announcements, posters, to presentation files, bulletin announcements and more, it is all there.

Publications & Printable Resources

Our publication center is one of our most valued tools. You do not need to run a street team to use our free printable tracts and audio CDs for your ministry. We have over two dozen tracts on the Catholic faith along with audio by people like Peter Kreeft, Scott Hahn, and Fr. Michael Schmitz that you can give away for free. We also provide scripture flash cards, free ebooks, and our own Street Evangelization Handbook. For 2016 we are developing a free small group faith formation program to help people on the street transition into a Catholic parish.

Public Store & Exclusive Member Only Store

When St. Paul Street Evangelization got its start, new teams would spend over $500 to purchase the basic materials to evangelize. Today that cost has been drastically reduced. Some teams report spending less than $100 by the time they hit the street for the first time.

We provide bulk discounts on holy cards, medals, t-shirts, signs, tracts, and more. Our public store has the lowest prices on the Internet, but our member only store has even lower prices and free shipping. Become a member today!

Basic Evangelization Training

Praised by diocesan staff, event coordinators, and parishes all over the country, our live events will set hearts on fire for evangelization!

I recommend the Basic Evangelization Training as a practical and genuinely effective aid in igniting the new evangelization in a diocese or parish.

— Meghan Cokeley,
Director of Evangelization
Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Now is the time to commit all of the Church’s energy to the New Evangelization! Our Basic Evangelization Training is among the most hands-on, practical, and dynamic workshop opportunities for Catholics in the world today. Participants will gain the courage they need to be enthusiastic and joyful evangelists as they overcome the fear of sharing our faith.

Bishops around the United States are becoming more aware of the need to engage their communities in the New Evangelization. We offer one- and two-day workshops. Participants who complete the training will receive basic certification, membership on our online training site, and materials to engage their parishes and schools in the work of evangelization. Participants will learn through presentations and hands-on demonstrations as they practice using methods and tools that really work. The training will be relevant for both those who need to learn how to evangelize directly in their parishes, organizations, and schools, as well as those who want to get started with street evangelization in their area.

Dr. John Bergsma, Professor of Theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville, praised our training and evangelization efforts as a practical course for all Catholics in how to share your faith. St. Paul Street Evangelization teaches Catholics, no matter their previous education or experience, how to share their faith effectively and enthusiastically with others.

Course Outline

  1. Introduction to the New Evangelization – An overview of the history and meaning of the New Evangelization. We will dig into scripture, the Church Fathers, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
  2. The Spiritual Life of the Evangelist – You can’t give what you don’t have, so we will spend time talking about the contemplative & active lives of Catholic evangelists.
  3. The Journey of Discipleship: Thresholds – Sherry Weddell has given the Church a gift in the Thresholds of Discipleship, we will go over how to identify where someone is at on their journey to God.
  4. Exercise 1: Thresholds of Discipleship – As evangelists in training, we spend a lot of time in prayer with Jesus, as he is the one we want others to encounter.
  5. The Prayer of Consecration – Learn how to lead others in a prayer to consecrate themselves to Jesus Christ.
  6. Basic Etiquette for the Evangelist – There are a lot of ways to be an awkward or annoying evangelist. We will help you avoid those ways.
  7. Exercise 2: Building Trust – We will talk about how to build trust with those you meet by learning how to listen and open your heart to others.
  8. Sharing the Story of Salvation – What do you believe? Yikes! Sometimes Catholics struggle sharing the story of salvation, but it is easy! We will show you how.
  9. Exercise 3: Sharing the Story – Now we need to practice. Courage Christian soldiers!
  10. Exercise 4: Enthusiasm – No one wants to talk to a miserable evangelist, so we need to show our joy in the Lord by practicing being enthusiastic.
  11. How to Share Your Testimony – We will go through the do’s and do-not’s of sharing a personal witness.
  12. Exercise 5: Sharing Your Testimony – Yep, we need to practice this too!
  13. Practical Apologetics – Evangelization and apologetics are not the same thing. We’ll talk about the differences and how to engage someone in a defense of the faith, when you need to.
  14. Prayer & The Evangelist – We will talk about practical ways to invite others into prayer and how to pray for them.
  15. Exercise 6: Praying Out Loud – We will then pray for each other and those we are going to encounter when we are sent forth.
  16. Oath of Fidelity & Certification – The last step!

Teen Encounter Workshop

Our teen encounter is geared towards helping Catholic teens examine their own relationships with God, delve deeper into what it means to be a disciple, and work with our national staff in a hands on environment to prepare them to share their faith with their classmates and friends, whether on the field, in class, or outside of class. It’s a fun experience as teens learn to go beyond their comfort zones and share the Good News of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.

Teen training is set up in a 6 hour format with Mass & lunch (or dinner) included. It can also be split up over two days. After the 6 hour training is complete our office will provide the supplies for teens to join us and evangelize on the street in your area. At one of our recent teen encounters our young evangelists gathered over 300 prayer requests and touched the lives of many people!

Due to safe environment standards we can only train teens in the context of their Catholic youth groups. All adults must be in compliance with the national charter.

Evangelical Apologetics

Evangelical Apologetics is brand new course on the Catholic faith developed by experts working with street evangelists. Contributions include Dr. Peter Kreeft and Dr. Kenneth Howell along with the SPSE staff, parish faith formation directors, and street evangelists. In the live version we will discover the questions that all people ask and learn how to use apologetics in evangelization. You do not need to be a great apologist to be an evangelist. Evangelization is not the same thing as apologetics. However, there are moments when apologetics is vital to the process of evangelization.

Conference Workshops, Parish Retreats, Keynote Talks

Our staff is available to speak for videos, tv shows, radio appearances, as well as newspaper interviews. We also travel throughout the country to offer conference workshops, parish retreats, and keynote talks. For biographical information or to arrange for a speaker, please contact our national office or see our website. Contact adam@stpaulse.com to book training in your area.

Getting a Team Started

St. Paul Street Evangelization offers the tools and resources to evangelize in today’s culture.

The Basics of Starting a Street Team

First Year Donation, Materials, and Training

Suggested Donation:
Parish in Financial Need $150.00
Parish Team $180.00
Diocesan Team $180.00

This is also the suggested donation for subsequent years.

Starter Pack Materials (optional): $189.99 1 A-frame sign (“Picture”, “Catholic Truth”, “Ask a Priest”, or “Prayer Station” signs available), 100 Miraculous Medals, 100 MM Holy Cards, 50 Crucifixes, 50 Ball Chains, 500 Pamphlet Variety Pack, 50 CD Variety Pack, 25 Rosary CDs, CD Labels & Sleeves, 200 Catholic Audio Cards, 200 Rosaries (Approx.), 100 Promises of the Rosary Bookmarks, 5 Evangelization Handbooks, 5 Gospel of Luke Booklet, 100 Million Dollar Bills, 100 Divine Mercy Holy Cards, 50 Consecration to Jesus Holy Cards, 50 Consecration to Mary Holy Cards, 50 Jesus Knocks Holy Cards, Scripture Reference Sheet, 25 “My Daily Prayer” pamphlets, 50 SPSE Team Holy Cards, 10 Prayer Request Sheets, 5 “Pillar of Fire, Pillar of Truth” booklets

Kickoff Event (optional)
Honorarium: $500.00 + costs

Basic Evangelization Training (optional)
Honorarium: $1200.00 + costs

Contact us for a free “start a team pack” which explains how to go about starting a team in detail. Below is an outline to help you understand the work involved.

  1. Identify a team leader. This person will be in charge of all aspects of your team and will be the point person who will be in contact with the SPSE National Office. After initially contacting us we will give you a phone number to call with questions. Teams can be as small as 2 people.
  2. Set up your team with the National Office. Contact the national office at info@stpaulse.com. They will walk you through this material and help you set up your team. One person in your team should be a supporting member.
  3. Decide if you want SPSE to come to your parish or diocese to conduct a kickoff event. This is not essential but it can be a very effective way to kick-start your evangelization efforts. This is a one night event and includes a motivational talk on evangelization and a workshop on the methods of St. Paul Street Evangelization.
  4. Diocese or Parish Team: It is our goal to help dioceses and parishes throughout the country to establish effective evangelization initiatives at the lowest possible cost. We have done most of the work so our team leaders can focus on the actual evangelization effort. To help us offset costs at the national level, we suggest the following organizational donation amounts for a parish membership and optional items. Parish teams may be invoiced for payment.
  5. Contact the national office to register your team. After payment you will receive access to all materials and resources, including your team website. You will have access to leader areas of our website so you can download and print the resources that your team will need at any time.
    • Note: If your team cannot afford these amounts, we will work with you to provide services at a price you can afford. We would not want a team to be unable to join us because of financial concerns.
  6. Identify team leaders & members and hold a team meeting. We will provide you with a packet to help you build your evangelization team. This should be a prayerful process. You do not have to fill every position to start evangelization. Some teams have just two evangelists.
  7. Order any extra materials and set up your calendar and website. Although the website is fully functional as provided, your team may choose to customize and use it as another means to organize and set up evangelization times and places with team members. There is a website admin packet in our Members Area with details on how to do this.
  8. Take the online training. You can print off any of our resources and share them with your team members, including the online training. We plan on offering five different courses in the future.
  9. Evangelize! Once you have your materials it is time to hit the streets and evangelize.

The Catholic Hospitality Training Institute

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

— Hebrews 13:2

Every person can be an open door for Jesus Christ.

Parish, school, and diocesan support staff have a unique capacity to evangelize. The first three minutes a visitor spends with the person of first contact in the parish decides whether they will return a second time.

Through our unique one day hospitality training (and yearlong follow up) your first contact staff, such as administrative assistants, business managers, custodians, ushers, principals, Christian charity coordinators, and event planners will be evangelized and prepared to receive others in the name of Jesus Christ. Contact us to register a training date today.

Street evangelism is as old as the gospel itself. The Apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ were the first street preachers announcing the good news of salvation and the Church in the streets of the Roman Empire. This tradition was practiced by the great saints throughout history and is alive again with St. Paul Street Evangelization and spreading across the globe. The faithful Catholics who make up St. Paul Street Evangelism live up to their name. Support them, follow them, join them!

— Steve Ray
Defenders of the Catholic Faith
Catholic-convert.com

Mission, Vision, Values, and Patrons

Mission

St. Paul Street Evangelization is a grassroots, non-profit organization, dedicated to responding to the mandate of Jesus to preach the Gospel to all nations by taking the Catholic Faith to the streets in a non-confrontational way, allowing the Holy Spirit to move in the hearts of those who witness our public Catholic presence.

Vision

St. Paul Street Evangelization seeks to work with God for the conversion of the entire world to Jesus Christ and His Church by providing the tools, resources, training, and inspiration to local groups of Catholics which will enable them to duplicate our non-confrontational method of Catholic evangelization in their parishes and home towns.

Values

St. Paul Street Evangelization is committed to bringing about the conversion of our culture by presenting the truth of the Catholic Faith and is faithful to the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church as defined in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and by the Magisterium.

Patrons

The patrons of SPSE are St. Paul, Apostle to the Gentiles, and Servant of God, Fr. John Anthony Hardon, S.J. St. Paul Street Evangelization is consecrated to the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas.