Pope Francis: "Win, Build, Send"
In his first homily, Pope Francis echoed the "Win, Build, Send" formula for evangelization. This formula, seemingly so simple, is the engine that drives evangelization powerhouses like FOCUS. Let's take a look at where Pope Francis affirmed these in his inaugural homily.
Walking: the House of Jacob. “O house of Jacob, Come, let us walk in the light of the Lord.” This is the first thing God said to Abraham: “Walk in my presence and be blameless.” Walking: our life is a journey and when we stop, there is something wrong. Walking always, in the presence of the Lord, in the light of the Lord, seeking to live with that blamelessness, which God asks of Abraham, in his promise.
Winning souls to Christ means introducing them to a life-giving relationship with their Savior. The task of winning is complete only when they have made a conscious decision to walk with God. This doesn't mean they are saints yet, only that they have intentionally set out on the journey.
Building: to build the Church. There is talk of stones: stones have consistency, but [the stones spoken of are] living stones, stones anointed by the Holy Spirit. Build up the Church, the Bride of Christ, the cornerstone of which is the same Lord. With [every] movement in our lives, let us build!
The Church we must build is not the Church of brick and mortar, but the Church of "living stones!" Those who have made the decision to walk with Christ are extremely vulnerable. The Enemy is mad and seeks to snatch away the seed before it can take root. We must build up these new disciples so that they are firmly established in the Lord.
Third, professing: we can walk as much we want, we can build many things, but if we do not confess Jesus Christ, nothing will avail. We will become a pitiful NGO, but not the Church, the Bride of Christ.
Almost 50 years ago, Pope Paul VI taught us that "the Church exists to evangelize." If we take him at his word, then we must also say that if the Church isn't evangelizing, she might as well not exist! We cannot set up Catholic bunkers. We must engage the world and continue pleading with souls to know the love and fellowship that we have in Christ. Once we have won others to Christ and built them up into vibrant living stones, we need to give them the tools to profess their faith to others and invite them into a life-giving relationship with Jesus.
IT TAKES ALL THREE
Pope Francis finally insists that all three steps are necessary and indispensible:
When one does not walk, one stalls. When one does not build on solid rocks, what happens? What happens is what happens to children on the beach when they make sandcastles: everything collapses, it is without consistency. When one does not profess Jesus Christ - I recall the phrase of Leon Bloy – “Whoever does not pray to God, prays to the devil.” When one does not profess Jesus Christ, one professes the worldliness of the devil.