What do Protestant denominations do well that we as Catholics can learn from?

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Definitely the community aspect, as a revert I have enjoyed many memorable times in Evangelical Churches. These Churches tended to be open 24/7 with something going on all the time.Many memorable parties where every one was welcome from 9 months to 90 years.
Bible study where their was a passion and love for scripture. Fellowship with your brothers and sisters In and out of each others homes.
I think as Catholics we tend to be on the defensive when we hear this.But we should take It as inspiration on a personal level and a parish level. Transforming ourselves through Gods grace to be more open and loving in our community’s thus evangelising to the rest of society. Remembering their are many lonely people not only In society but In our Parishes. Reading Acts chap 2 verses 44-47 we see what our parishes should look like.I for one should work harder In building up our Communities.
I agree with many of the posts. Yes, some of the Evangelical churches, esp, seem to be more in the entertainment biz, with power point presentations, plush theatre style seating and over emphasis of the speaking skills of the pastor, with an absense of worship. I dislike the salemanship showman atmosphere and would hate to see the Catholic Church move in that direction.

OTOH, as many have pointed out, these people are bold and friendly about their faith, even if it is shallow by our standards. They try and make newcomers feel welcome, even if their friendliness is actually superficial. But, this lures in vulnerable people, let’s face it. Not everyone is a student of doctrine, but is looking for a sense of community which these churches often do a better job of providing.

What we can learn is that a good youth group is not a bad idea. That some mechanism for outreach to newcomers might be a good thing. That some midweek activities might help bring people together. Daily Mass, which I regularly attend, is wonderful and spiritually nourishing, but not a friendly affair.

Yes, I think we ought to learn some things from Protestants, just as the Church adapted during the counter-Reformation. Just my 2 cents. :twocents:
The Catholic faith has the fullness of truth. However, we are human, and we do not live out that fullness to its fullness. Although our Protestant brothers do not have this fullness, they share many of our core beliefs.

What do Protestant denominations do well that we as Catholics can learn from?
Four suggestions:
  1. MartyL’s suggestion of a printed order of the Mass to make it easer for visitors to know what is happening is right on!
  2. Coat Racks. I attend Mass two Catholic Churches (in cold weather climates) a few times per year and neither has a coat rack.
  3. Encourage people to stay for the entire Mass, and not leave after Communion.
  4. Welcome all Christians to participate fully in the Mass, including Holy Communion. (From the responses I’ve received in the thread "A Protestant at CatholicCommunion **
    forums.catholic-questions.org/showthread.php?t=1925**](http://forums.catholic-questions.org/showthread.php?t=1925)I understand that this is not a very popular idea!)
Area Man said:
2) Coat Racks. I attend Mass two Catholic Churches (in cold weather climates) a few times per year and neither has a coat rack.

👍 I like this idea. I don’t understand not having them, other that space limits.
Panis Angelicas:
This is a key difference between Catholic thought and evangelical protestant thought.

Catholics have been formed to use reason. The ability to reason is what sets us apart from the animals, and what marks us as being created in God’s image and likeness. We avoid hype and emotionalism, which are often misleading.

Evangelical protestantism is a stimulant to the emotions, where Catholicism is a stimulant to reason.

I have been thinking of how I want to answer this post for some time…Guess I’d better get started!

First of all, I want to establish that I am a devout Roman Catholic…Converted in 1985, and earned a Master of Arts in Religion in 1996. The Church is my passion. I believe that while other Christian churches are rich in many ways, it only in the Catholic Church that the fullness of Truth is to be found. To be anything else would be tantamount to changing the color of my eyes! It can’t be done!

I grew up in the Methodist church, and have had ties with the Baptist church, Presbyterian church, Lutheran church, and Churches of Christ (the Evangelical wing). I feel blessed to have had such a wide range of religious experiences. It helps me a lot in my work with the RCIA.

I have learned, though my own experience, that Truth and how one “feels” do not always have anything to do with each other. We all need to be careful about allowing our emotions to be our guide, especially in matters of faith.

**Having said this, I must also say that because we are mere humans, reason and emotions cannot be entirely separated. While our Catholic faith is certainly based on reason, it is very much a faith of the heart. **

I thought I detected, in your post, a bit of arrogance…A kind of pride in the fact that you deal only with reason…That those who are part of an Evangelical faith are somehow simpletons who have no qualms about taking part in immoral behavior…This is far from the truth…I know many Evangelicals, and their love for Jesus is sincere, as is their desire to live a moral life. If I am wrong abuot this, I do apologize.

I don’t think Catholics join Protestant churches because they don’t want to think…I think it is because they have not been properly chatechized about their own faith. Surely, no one who has a true understanding to the Church and what she teaches could leave. I know, because I have tried…and have always come back to Truth…

**This is a subject that I have thought about a great deal…My husband (a cradle Catholic) became very hurt and angry with the Church, because he felt that all he treasured had been taken away. He left the Church three years ago, and became an active member of a nearby large Evangelical church (Church of Christ). I occasionally attend church with him, and we are part of a very loving Sunday School class. The only way I can do this, is to know with certaintity that the fullness of faith resides within the Roman Catholic Church…I feel that my association with my husband’s church has greatly strengthened my Catholic faith…And, I get an opportunity, now and then, to clear up misconception about the Catholic Church. **

I am a Catholic who appreciates the value of my Evangelical brother’s and sister’s faith…It is incomplete, but sincere.
I think Catholic priests in general can learn from Protestant preacher how to preach sermons.

There are exception. There is Father John Corapi, and Bishop Fulteen Sheen. But priests in general do not have that fire in their bones. Many priest don’t tell it like it is. They do not preach about Hell and abortion. Many priests are afraid to tell it like it is. They are afraid they would lose people.
I think Catholic priests in general can learn from Protestant preacher how to preach sermons.
**I am sorry to have to agree with you. Fortunately, the priests at my parish do a credible job, but there could still be some improvement. **
I just started attending Mass the week before Easter this year. I am converting from Anglicanism and plan to start RCIA classes in September with my husband.

I just wanted to say that my best friend left the Catholic Church in her twenties and joined a non-denominational Protestant Church where she is quite happy now. She cannot understand why I would convert to Catholicism … in fact, I get the feeling she doesn’t understand Catholic doctrine very well at all. I wonder how a person can grow up in the Catholic Church attending Mass faithfully every week and not understand the teachings!!

Perhaps education does need to go on after Confirmation. As I share my journery with other adult Catholics, many tell me that I know more about the faith than they do. I ask them why and they say things like … “I guess I never went on to learn anything more after my Confirmation.”

To me this is a shame and I hope it does not represent all ‘cradle Catholics’.

Well…I have a friend very much like yours. L. was raised Catholic, but because of some negative experiences she is now an Evangelical Christian, and does not understand WHY I love the Church so much. We talk about it often.

It is true that converts are often better informed about the faith than cradle Catholics. A convert is one who usually has studied, prayed and thought about things…and has CHOSEN to become a Catholic. I am a convert of 19 years, and am still an enthusiastic Catholic…
I disagree. All the Catholic homilies I hear are intelligent and nicely based on the readings. Protestant preachers are long-winded and rely on a scripture here and a scripture there to make their point, which are usually taken totally out of context. I’m not saying there aren’t good speakers, but I prefer the Catholic method of expounding on the readings.

My priest is an excellent speaker. And so are other priests at parishes I visit.
Two suggestions:

Giving / supporting the church faithfully

Adult education for every age group. I know a church were Sunday School attendance nearly matches church attendance.
Many priest don’t tell it like it is. They do not preach about Hell and abortion. Many priests are afraid to tell it like it is. They are afraid they would lose people.
I agree with this. I know two exceptional priests here in Ohio who aren’t afraid to speak the truth. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t want to hear it. One priest was driven from his parish because the people didn’t like hearing about hell and sin. But these priests have to answer for the souls of their congregants. Is there a more important message??
**First of all, Welcome…May God richly bless your journey! It’s wonderful that you and your husband will be doing the RCIA together. **

Well…I have a friend much like yours. L. is a cradle Catholic who is now a happy Evangelical Christian. She had some negative experiences as a Catholic, and cannot understand my love for the Church.

Yes…It is often true that converts have more enthusiasm and knowledge of the Church than those born into it. It is probably because we study, pray and finally CHOSE to become Roman Cathoics…It has been nineteen years for me, and I am still an enthusiastic Catholic1
Well…I’ve got to admit that you have a point about some Protestant ministers being long winded! And, I’ve heard some good Catholic homilies. I did mention that the priests in my own parish do fairly well. I guess it depends on who you hear, and where you hear him/her.
Two suggestions:

Giving / supporting the church faithfully

Adult education for every age group. I know a church were Sunday School attendance nearly matches church attendance.
I agree…Sunday School isn’t just for kids…It can provide thoughtful adults with opportunities to deepen their faith and participate in a caring fellowship…This is especially helpful when the parish or church is a large one.
I was stunned to read some of the critical comments about how we don’t need to learn anything from them. Obviously, we believe we have the fullness of the Gospel in the Catholic Church but we also believe that where two or more are gathered in HIS name HE is there.

That means we can learn from other Christians.

My wife is a PCUSA Presbyterian and their congregation is very Christ centered. They are friendly. Although I go there only monthly I know more people than my at my parish where I am every Sunday and every Wednesday during school!

Second their MUSIC does worship God whereas our “stuff” often falls way short. It is time to ban the guitar and piano from Mass and have only organ music and real hymns or chants. No silly puffy songs. Handbells would be nice too. They are beautiful.

Thirdly adult Sunday school is a great idea. Even though most Catholics use parochial schools something is not getting through to these kids. Faith is a lifetime growing process.

Fourthly, we need to have some mega parishes that do what their evangelical counterparts do and be user and seeker friendly. It does not mean demean the faith or water it down, it means meet people where they are and provide them opportunities to be part of the parish with various activities. Megaparishes could not have a parochial school attached to them and what would you know there is the money to pay the salaries for the children’s minister, the nursery director, the youth minister, a real and talented choir director etc. In Omaha my wife’s congregation is very well to do and spends about 2 million a year in budgets. Our former blue collar parish spends that too but almost all of it goes to pay for a stinky parochial school. The difference in appearance and presentation was eye opening.

Fifthly is Vacation Bible School and Summer Camp. Many parishes do have VBS but none have summer camp. It is a good idea and if nothing else it keeps your kid from going to their summer camp and leaving the Church.

Sixthly, we need to recapture the idea that the parish is the center of your wordly life. Christ is there sacarnentally in the Liturgies, scripturally in the Word and in your fellow man. I don’t want to hear that all you need is the Eucharist and a strong home school. Clearly that may work for some but why is the second largest group of Christians behind practicing Catholics in the US is former Catholics? Shame on them for leaving but shame on us for refusing to address why they left and working to change what things we can to bring them back. If praise music is what they want I say give it to them. If Bible study is what they want why weren’t we doing it already?

Seventh, baptism as part of Sunday Mass. There is no outside of worship baptism at my wife’s church and I think that is good. We need to reiterate that the community is responsible for ALL the children. For you homeschoolers that means you have a responsibility to help me raise my kid Catholic and not just worry about your kid and the dangers of the public school. My kid is in public school and what are you doing to help get him to heaven? I know I have a responsibility for him, the primary one, but SO DO YOU!!!

Eighth, be ecumenical. You don’t have to agree with their teaching but for those of us in mixed marriages it would be nice if the Catholic pastors at least knew the Protestant clegry in their neighborhood. This year during Christian Unity Week I invited the three ministers at the Presbyterian church and my two priests out to lunch. Both pastors were busy but all three associates came and it was good fellowship. My Jesuit spiritual director had never heard of such a thing but thought it was a great idea. For $40 I am glad I did it and look forward to next January.
Here is my list as one who comes from a Catholic family but who is now Protestant:

By the way I am only referring to Protestant in the truest sense. Those who are conservative Christians, Evangelical and whose doctrine is more “catholic” than the newer Protestants.
  1. They tend to do a better job of raising faithful and commited Christians. My mom raised eight kids in the Catholic Church the only ones who are practicing Christians are here two Protestant sons. In Boston most people are catholic in name but a majority of the people I grew up with are less catholic in belief and practice than most Evangelicals I know.
  2. Evangelism. Protestants seem to have alot more concern for the souls of others. Thus the term evangelical. They have a sense of urgency for converting unbelievers to Christ that I have rarely seen among modern Catholics.
  3. They tend to understand their faith much better and read the Bible much more than the average catholic.
  4. The emphasis on faith in Christ. While catholics certainly believe this doctrinally, one of the negative effects of the Reformation on Catholicism is that many catholics over emphasize works just to differentiate themselves from Protestants. Thus, many a catholic is robbed of peace and joy because they are terrified of messing up and losing their salvation. Catholics need to recover the peace of Christ’s Cross. Protestants do a much better job in this area.
    And I am not talking about faith that doesn’t work - so don’t go there. 😉
  5. Over all nominalism. I covered this above. But as I mentioned if you grew up an a heavily catholic area like me there is very little to differentiate the average catholic from unbelievers. In fact many are unbelievers who just call themselves catholic. Again not one of my 6 catholic siblings goes to Mass regularly and most believe what suits them. And my mother is a wonderful, devout catholic whose faith has always inspired me.
  6. Protestants have much better teachers. I never had a CCD teacher who knew as much about scripture as the average Evangelical ten year old does. That is not an exageration. My sister was a CCD teacher at one point and I would bet $100 that she has not cracked open a Bible more than twice in her life.
All that being said if more people like the members of this forum are influential in the Church then that means a very bright future for the Catholic Church.

I would be equally happy to do a list of Protesant difficiencies if someone wants to start that thread.

CatholicGeek said:
👍 I like this idea (coat racks). I don’t understand not having them, other that space limits.

At my parish, we have coat racks, but few people use them. We have been explicitly warned NOT to leave expensive coats (leather, fur) in the racks, apparently there have been some thefts.

Fortunately, none of my coats fits that description, so I always use them!

Just recently they put folding doors over the little entranceway to each closet, and use them at times for short-term storage.
Dear Kevin Cassidy,
You make very good points, nicely put!
Sincerely WhiteDove
Richard Lamb:
WE can leard from their love of scripture, their knowldge of same, and their seal of evangelization…Until we can emulate this we should not complain about our own catholics leaving the church…
RICHARD,Im glad to see some RCC members see it as you do. Let us pray together that all will come into the fulness of Truth. 🙂
Melchior and others,

I agree about evangelism, but I have a question.

What exactly do Catholics say when they evangelize?

Those of you who are Protestants or ex-Protestants know what I’m talking about when I say “Four Spiritual Laws.” Protestant evangelism is so easy, a kid can do it.
  1. God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.
  2. Man is sinful and separated from God.
  3. Christ died in man’s place so that man’s sins might be forgiven and his relationship with God restored.
  4. Each individual must accept Christ as their personal Savior. (Usually a short "Sinner’s Prayer follows: Lord Jesus, I am sorry for my sins. Thank you for dying on the cross for me. Come into my heart and be my Savior. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.)
That’s the 4 spiritual laws, a short and simple distillation of the Gospel according to Protestants. Easy to use. In my Sunday School classes, I took junior highers out into the neighborhoods so they could practice “sharing the Gospel.” (evangelizing.)

I think that the same 4 laws are consistent with Catholic theology, but there’s so much more. To a Catholic, salvation is through Christ, but is obtained through a lifelong association with the sacraments of the Church, not merely through a one-time “decision for Christ and sinner’s prayer.” Involvement with church is not an option, it is necessary for salvation.

But this would tend to scare a lot of people away. After all, what would you say if someone said to you, “In order to be saved, you have to go to my Church.”

So what exactly does a Catholic tell people when they "share the Gospel?
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