Save the Catholic Church and Transform Lives: The Power of Evangelization

Jonathan Doyle Global Catholic Speaker

In today’s episode, we explore the central theme of redirecting our focus towards glorifying God in all aspects of our existence, transcending fleeting worldly pursuits. Reflecting on the tragic demise of talented individuals, we confront the sobering reality that temporal success does not equate to fulfillment. Through poignant discussions on evangelization and the essential mission of the Church, we’re challenged to reframe our professional lives within the context of spreading the Gospel. As Jonathan passionately emphasizes, the effort to evangelize the world emerges as the paramount endeavor in revitalizing and safeguarding the Church. Join us on this enlightening journey towards purposeful living and profound spiritual fulfillment. Tune in now and discover the transformative power of embracing God’s calling in your life.

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    Welcome Aboard

    Hey there, my friend Jonathan Doyle, and welcome to the Catholic Teacher Daily Podcast. If you missed the last couple of days, we’ve been going deep into a book that I just finished by John Piper called Don’t Waste Your Life.

    It’s called Don’t Waste Your Life because it’s trying to help us realize that all other excellences and everything else we may give ourselves to is ultimately going to pale into insignificance against the supreme magnificence of seeking to give glory to God through all dimensions of our lives. That is the big game, that is the big dance, that is the Super Bowl of Super Bowls, if you will. We are here to reflect the glory of God. That is the point, that is the game. There are a million things that happen that make up that game. But the ultimate game we’re playing is not wasting our lives.

    Life’s Misdirection: The Tragedy of Talent and Purpose

    If we fail to fulfill God's purposes, our lives risk spiraling into darkness despite worldly success
    If we fail to fulfill God's purposes, our lives risk spiraling into darkness despite worldly success

    So many times you just see so many stories of men and women. Often very influential ones, all your Hollywood A-listers—not all of them, but many really struggling, struggling with addictions and all sorts of problems. Because we think that they will be really happy that life will be working really well, it’s not. I wonder if it’s because not that there’s anything wrong with being an excellent actor, that’s a really good thing. If it’s done for the glory of God, to tell great stories with great acting, but we see some of these people often telling very dark stories and very twisted stories. There’s many that are not, but I’m just riffing on a tangent here.

    We can waste our lives, we can have temporary success, we can have success in the eyes of the world around us. But if we’re not living out the purposes of God in our lives then it can lead to some very dark places. One of my younger daughters has been reading the Hunger Games series for school. I’ve been progressively watching the movies with her, they’re pretty dark. I haven’t read the books, but the films are like, pretty dystopian, pretty dark. In the second and third movies, Philip Seymour Hoffman plays one of the major characters, I wasn’t super familiar with his work. I’d seen him a bit, but, my Lordy Glory, he is such a gifted actor.

    Some of you would know, of course, that he tragically took his own life, massive drug addiction. Yesterday we were watching the third movie, I jumped on Wikipedia and looked up some details. He took his life the year that film was released. It was a huge drug overdose involving multiple drugs and it raises that interesting question. How can somebody be so talented and obviously financially well rewarded? He had three children, and he was married. What was going on there? My daughter was asking me questions about it, and he was Catholic too.

    The Urgency of Purposeful Living

    God wants us to use our talents for His glory, bringing life, healing, and growth to ourselves and others
    God wants us to use our talents for His glory, bringing life, healing, and growth to ourselves and others

    I guess I’m sharing this because it just fascinated me. And I thought what a great tragedy that somebody with such gifts and talents was obviously struggling at such a level. But I don’t want to simplify the complexities of mental health and the people that end up in the situation that he did. But I guess the point I’m trying to make is, the talents and gifts that are available to us, God is desperate to see us use them for his glory in ways that bring life, healing, and growth to ourselves and others.

    The reason I’m focusing on this book is that it has just had such a big impact. Let’s not waste our lives. Let’s look deeply into what the Lord is asking of us and into where it’s taking us. The quote that I’m going to share with you today from John Piper is this one and we’re now switching gears. This really jumped out at me. It’s a quote. I guess the book is just relentless on evangelization, making God glorious, and giving our lives to his glory, that was yesterday’s episode.

    The Imperative of Evangelization

    Illuminate the world with the light of Christ. Share His message of hope and salvation
    Illuminate the world with the light of Christ. Share His message of hope and salvation

    Towards the end of the book, he’s taught us to talk a lot about missions, which is not something that I’m very familiar with. That’s an interesting point in itself that he really starts to go on about foreign missions and how Christians need to be really others financially supporting or active, literally active as missionaries. It struck me that we can write that off as a Protestant thing, they’re really big on that.

    It just really jumped out at me—this focus on evangelization. Could I be bold and say, with exceptions, that we may have massively lost focus on that in the Western Catholic Church. So let me read you this quote from John Piper. It’s very powerful, it says,

    “The effort to evangelize the world, presents the speediest and surest methods of saving the church.”

    Let’s make this really simple. The church dies when she stops evangelizing. She dies. Everybody wants to point out what’s happening in the church and why, where are the young people? Friends, it’s actually quite simple. The minute the church loses, the focus on Matthew 28, the more she loses her focus on preaching Christ and bringing souls into relationship with Christ. The minute she does that, she begins to wither because she just begins to wither. The vine withers.

    Catholic Education and Evangelical Mission

    A Catholic school exists solely for the mission of the church
    A Catholic school exists solely for the mission of the church

    This really struck me when I listened to it again. You want to see the church grow? You want to see your school flourish, focus on evangelization. Focus on asking the Lord where he wants you to play your part.

    I’m in a studio this morning, trying to encourage any Catholic teacher in the world who’s listening right now to reframe their professional life in terms of evangelization, the evangelion, bringing the gospel, bringing the news of salvation and redemption that is only through the name of Jesus. It is the only name, scripture tells us, given to the human person by which they may be saved. It is the only name.

    That is very sad for some people. It is hard for our delicate Western sensibilities to hear that the name of Jesus is the only name by which people can be saved. As respectful as we want to be of all other traditions, experiences, and spiritualities, we preach a crucified Christ. We preach him in season and out of season; we preach him welcome or unwelcome. That is the mandate that we have been given as his bride, as his church. The Vatican documents make very clear, there is absolutely no reason for the existence of a Catholic school apart from the mission of the church.

    I’m doing seminars on this. I talk about Paul VI, who famously said in Evangelii Nuntiandi, that the Catholic church does not have a mission. The Catholic Church is a mission. We’re not a church that has a mission tacked onto it. That’s not what we are. We are a mission. Our job is to evangelize.

    Personal Commitment to Evangelization

    Live out your faith boldly. Let your actions speak the truth of the Gospel
    Live out your faith boldly. Let your actions speak the truth of the Gospel

    I’m noticing more in my staff’s professional development that I’m using the greatest thinking and minds in Christian history and great data and research. I am consistently embedding everything I say in the gospel, in the redemption of souls. And I do not want to get to the end of my race and have to front Saint Peter or the Lord himself and say, ‘Look, I was really fancy and I did great seminars, and they were really interesting with tons of great data.’

    The question is going to be, did you bring souls to Christ, Jonathan? Did you help, did you smooth the path, did you do anything to help all the teachers that listen to you come deeper into relationships with me and with my church? If I can’t say yes to those friends, that is not a place that I want to be. The longer I live, the more I’m going to preach Christ. I was going to preach Christ. That’s what I’m going to do. I hope that may become true for you.

    Conclusion and Call to Action

    One more time from John Piper, ‘the effort to evangelize the world presents the speediest and surest methods of saving the church.’ You want to save this great, big, beautiful church. Well, it’s not all on you. That’s the truth. You don’t have to do it alone. You have to play your part. And I think he’s right—that’s the fastest way to play your part, I think the ultimate way to play your part is a radical reliance on Christ. And the second way is evangelization because of your relationship with Christ.

    God bless you. Could you come and check out the website, You can book me to speak live, you can find out about all the consulting work that I do, leadership formation for Catholic leaders. It’s all there on the website. You can also find me on Instagram: @jdoylespeaks. You could also do me a huge favor by just sharing this with people, getting the word out, and posting these podcast episodes on your social media feeds. 

    God bless you. My friend’s name is Jonathan Doyle. This has been the Catholic Teacher Daily Podcast. You and I are going to talk again tomorrow.

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    Jonathan Doyle


    I’m on a mission to liberate the potential of the incredible people that make up your organisation, school, or business.

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