So you’re stuck in an elevator…

I was once presenting to a group of seasoned missionaries, and I gave them this scenario:

You are in an elevator, and the person next to you notices the crucifix you are wearing. They ask, “why are you a Catholic?” You only have until the tenth floor to answer. What would you say?

Photo by Liliana Drew on

Now, of course, the scenario is a bit contrived. It’s not too often that anyone talks about anything in an elevator, let alone something so personal. But if you can suspend disbelief with me for a moment, we can use this scenario to get to the heart of why the kerygma matters. 

Stop for a moment and think about what answers I might have received that day. Go ahead, I’ll wait….

Ok, I’ll break the suspense. Some of the responses were along the lines of: 

I’d tell them about the Eucharist

I’d tell them about Mary

I’d tell them the Catholic Church is the church that Jesus founded

Of course, all of these are true. And I’d hope that my elevator-mate would one day come to believe these beautiful truths. But the question isn’t what are some wonderful truths we can share with people. The question is, if you only have a minute or two to share about what it means to be Catholic, what would you say? 

Now I’ll put you on the spot. If someone was to ask you, “why are you a Catholic?”, what would you say? 

Or perhaps even more importantly, what if they were to ask, “why should I be a Catholic?”

Could you answer these questions in a concise, pithy way that could lead someone to the heart of what it means to be Catholic? 

In upcoming blog posts, I’ll outline what makes up the kerygma, the basic core message that shares the fundamental message that can lead people to experience initial conversion. 






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