Your Stories

2017 Father Charles Irvin essay contest winner: Talking about Jesus to someone who doesn't know him

The question for the 2017 essay:  How would I explain Jesus Christ and what he means to me to someone who doesn’t know him?

I invented this scene; it never happened. The character Grace is me, represented as well as I could write myself. Anna is a fictional character, but the situations and people that I wrote about are all true.

SCENE: Barnes & Noble, the Christianity and Religion shelf. A teenage girl, Grace, bumps into another teenage girl, Anna, who is squinting at the C.S. Lewis books.

Although It may not be easy to talk about Jesus, Alyssa says: ‘Don’t be afraid. Jump in!’

Alyssa Pfarr knows it’s not easy to talk about Jesus. “Sometimes, my friends ask me questions because they know I care about my faith … I want to say to other young people, ‘Get out of your comfort zone. Maybe you think you don’t know God, or maybe you do, but it doesn’t matter – everyone is trying to figure it out.’”

How can you be a missionary disciple?

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’s faith means taking ‘little steps building up to a better relationship with God’

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.”


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