Seeking Former Catholics
By Mike Gendron
Our vision and prayer for 1996 is to encourage former Catholics, who have been born again of the Holy Spirit, to reach back into the Catholic Church and rescue those who have never heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Our prayer is that God will anoint ex-Catholics in local churches around the world with a deep compassion for those Catholics who, unknowingly, are on the road to destruction. We believe that former Catholics are best suited for evangelizing Catholics because they have experienced the deception that holds so many in bondage. To use the popular expression, "they have been there and done that." Ex-Catholics have done the penance that brought only a false hope of forgiveness. They have been in submission to the controlling, irrefutable dogmas of the Catholic clergy. They have experienced the spiritual blindness that comes from trusting in mediators other than Jesus. They can therefore relate to the mind set of Catholics and begin to unravel their web of indoctrination with the truth of God's word.
We would like to train, equip, and encourage ex-Catholics to be effective witnesses in what may be the largest and most neglected mission field in the world. We envision former Catholics reaching out and making disciples of unsaved Catholics through the formation of small groups Bible studies. These discipleship groups would focus on the essentials of the Gospel and the importance of trusting Christ and His Word over the teachings and traditions of men.
Five years ago my wife and I sensed God may be calling us to reach out to our Catholic family and friends. We began inviting all the Catholics we knew to our home every Tuesday evening to show them the video Catholicism: Crisis of Faith. After inviting all the Catholics known to us, we asked others to invite their Catholic friends. Our gracious Savior blessed our efforts with much fruit. Seventeen of these people renounced their Catholic faith and trusted Christ alone as their Savior. We then began bi- weekly Bible studies in our home to encourage these new believers to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. Within a few months we began writing newsletters and publications designed to help others witness to Catholics.
God began to open doors in other churches for us to encourage still more people through seminars and workshops. Needless to say we never imagined that God would take our desire to reach a few Catholics in our community and develop it into a ministry with subscribers in all 50 states and 15 foreign countries. God is able to do immeasurably more than we can ever ask or imagine according to His power that is at work within us (Ephesians 3:20).
If you are interested in exploring this exciting and challenging opportunity, we have put together a "starter kit" that will give you some great tools to begin your outreach. See Books & Tapes on the menu to the left. We will also support you via the telephone or email. Will you join us in prayer about this vision? Ask our Lord if He would like you to become involved. Here are some suggestions for you once you have confirmation: 1) Talk to former Catholics about their possible involvement; 2) Place an announcement in your church bulletin for a showing of the video Catholicism: Crisis of Faith; 3)Contact us if we can resolve any concerns or be a source of encouragement. Together, through the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit, we can participate in eternal work for the kingdom and lead many Catholics to a saving faith in Jesus Christ!