One of the most popular aspects of my book The New Evangelization and You: Be Not Afraid were the many sidebars about New Evangelizers in Action, stories of everyday Catholics doing their best to know, live, and share their faith. The original plan was for an entire bonus chapter of New Evangelizers, but unfortunately the page count exceeded the plan for the printers.
So for the next few weeks, I’m going to share this great bonus content from The New Evangelization and You: Be Not Afraid. Enjoy!
New Evangelizers in Action: Online Evangelizer Bryan Murdaugh
“I want to be more involved at every level of Evangelization within (and even beyond) my sphere,” says Bryan Murdaugh, a 33-year-old lifelong Catholic from the Diocese of Charleston. “I want my children to understand the importance of evangelization, and I’m excited to see new faces come forward at a local level to realize that they’re living a faith of radical love.”
This determination is not something new to Bryan. He’s been involved in youth ministry at the Parish and Diocesan level for 11 years, as well as involved in a youth evangelization apostolate called 5thousand for the last four years. Additionally, he is a small business owner, creating websites, mobile apps, and graphic and video design services.
“While our business caters to more than Catholics, evangelization remains at the core of our business,” Bryan says. “We serve many important apostolates engaged in spreading the Gospel, and even support some diocesan offices, including the Office of Vocations for the Diocese of Charleston and I also volunteer as a youth advisor in my Parish, Our Lady of the Hills, in Columbia, SC.”
Like others, though Bryan puts great focus on the New Evangelization in his life, taking steps to know, live, and share the faith still take ongoing effort.
“I think the biggest challenges in knowing the faith come from being bombarded with almost as much misconception about the faith as I was taught the truth about the faith,” Bryan explains. “Growing up amid people who held false beliefs about Catholics and not being armed with the right tools to combat that as an adolescent put me a little behind the curve.”
Like many who grew up in the 70s and 80’s and other generations, Bryan has discovered that despite a lack of catechesis, God can use those moments of weakness to strengthen a person’s faith. “It’s also possible, however, that this disadvantage gave me enough thirst to learn – which keeps me going today,” Bryan says. “I do feel like I started later than I would have liked to, though.”
When asked about roadblocks in the New Evangelization, Bryan points to a common malady that many encounter: Time.
“It’s too easy to be busy,” Bryan says. “When we’re busy, we neglect prayer. When we neglect our prayer life, we miss out on occasions of grace and we forget to lean on Jesus Christ in everything we do.”
But time is not the only challenge facing Catholics today.
“I think fear is big too,” says Bryan. “I think the laity-at-large is very concerned that if they get involved with the Church, they’re going to have them out of their comfort zones in silly or even dangerous situations. I feel like the “comfort zone” is too safe for sure, but I think people need to realize that we are a church of reason AND faith, and that there’s no reason to be afraid to step forward.”
You can visit Bryan’s website at fivable.com.