This session is an introduction to the life of St. Paul as the model evangelizer and will show the middle school youth the importance of perseverance in their faith and efforts of evangelization.
St. Paul, author of more than half of the books of the New Testament and one of the greatest evangelists of all time, has one of the most amazing stories of conversion in the entire Bible. A persecutor of Christians, Saul was headed to Damascus when he was blinded by a great light and confronted by the voice of God. After three days of being blind, Paul got up, gave his life to Christ and never looked back. One the greatest lessons we learn from Paul’s conversion is that God never gives up on anyone. When people questioned Paul’s new desire to serve God and spread the Good News, God replied, “this man is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles, kings, and Israelites…” (Acts 9:15). We have to imagine that it was this unconditional love Paul felt from God that fueled the great perseverance he showed in his ministry. The next verse in Acts foreshadows the trials that Paul would face as God continues, “and I will show him what he will have to suffer for my name” (9:16). Paul’s evangelization efforts led him to experience rejection, hardship, opposition, slander, shipwrecks, imprisonment and ultimately martyrdom. Throughout it all, Paul always preached with a spirit of encouragement.