Lately, we’ve heard the phrase “missionary discipleship” quite a bit; it’s one of those “trending” topics. Much of the buzz about missionary discipleship comes from Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, or The Joy of the Gospel. In it, Pope Francis says, “Every Christian is a missionary to the extent that he or she has encountered the love of God in Christ Jesus; we no longer say that we are ‘disciples’ and ‘missionaries,’ but rather that we are always ‘missionary disciples.’”
Anna Dehnke likes to define missionary discipleship as “people putting themselves out there and letting God come help you do service – willingly. For me, missionary discipleship includes when people knock you down, demean you or call you weird for having faith and you just get back out there and continue doing service for God.”
Brianna Goff marvels at the gentle way the Lord led her one step at a time to bring about her conversion. “As a freshman [at Dexter High School], even though my parents raised us Catholic and made us go to Mass on Sundays, I didn’t want anything to do with the faith.
Our ultimate goal is heaven. The time we spend on this earth is nothing compared to heaven. You just want to hear him say, ‘Well done.’”
Asked to complete the sentence, “When I think of Jesus, __,” Troy Culver, a freshman at Northwest High School in Jackson, promptly replied, “I think of him as my big brother. He’s always there to talk to. I feel his presence, and the Holy Spirit, especially when I pray alone or am at adoration. It’s hard to explain how I feel but it’s like I’m complete.”