Bumper Sticker Evangelist

Have you ever driven behind a bumper sticker evangelist?  They have so many bumper stickers that it is hard to tell what color the car is anymore.  Each one proclaims the Word of God in a unique way: some are a funny play on words, while others are a bit more forward.  The question is, do they work?

In my personal experience, they do.  But let’s take a step back a couple of years.

When I first started Waking Up Catholic, I was excited to get tens of visitors per week.  Yes, tens.  Long before search engine optimization, click-throughs, and bounce rates mattered to me, I was excited just to see people coming by.

To help bolster traffic to the site, I had custom vinyl lettering made for the back window of my car in bold, 6-inch letters.  Now, with my website address easily readable from 500 feet away, I was sure to get even more visitors.  I had become a bumper sticker evangelist.

Well, I can’t say that this gigantic sticker on my back window brought thousands of visitors to my site, but it did bring at least one visitor – and that visitor may be the only one that matters.

One day, a neighbor of mine started a conversation with me and my wife.  It started out as your average, neighborly conversation, but he began to tell us about some of the troubles that he was having.  Then, he began to ask us about our faith.  He had seen the sticker on my car and wanted to know more.

He had been attending the same large, non-denominational, mega-church that I had once attended, searching for answers, but he did not feel satisfied.  Growing up Catholic, he missed some of that old tradition.  Knowing that we were Catholic, he wanted to know what drew us to the faith.

After sharing our stories, we quickly realized how much we had in common.  In fact, much of his story sounded like mine from just a couple years ago.  From that point on, every time we saw each other, the dialogue opened again, and usually our impromptu talks in our condo parking lot would last for an hour or more.

After a few invitations to join us at Mass, my neighbor eventually decided to come back to the Catholic Church.  From that point on, it seems as if he hardly looked back.  He started going to Mass regularly, joined the RCIA program, and continued to grow deeper in faith.

I am happy to announce that my neighbor will be accepted into the Church this coming Easter Vigil.  After almost a year of attending classes, he is finally coming into full communion with the Church.  My wife and I are very excited for him, and happy to call him friend.

By no means can I take the credit for my neighbor’s conversion – it was truly the work of the Holy Spirit – but the work of the Holy Spirit began the day I became a bumper sticker evangelist.  Usually, we never find out if ideas like these will ever work, but in this case, I can say, without a doubt, that it does.

I’d like to think that if saints Peter and Paul had cars, they would be bumper sticker evangelists, as well.

Copyright © 2013, Chad R. Torgerson

Chad R. Torgerson

Chad R. Torgerson

Chad R. Torgerson works as an IT Analyst for a Catholic publishing group. In his spare time, he enjoys writing and sharing his faith on his website, Waking Up Catholic, a guide to the Catholic RCIA process. and is also the Co-Founder of Assisi Media, a new Catholic publishing company focused on using new media to reach everyday Catholics. His new book, Waking Up Catholic, is available in eBook and paperback formats.

Leave a Reply

next post: The Meaning of Mercy

previous post: The Transfiguration and the Cross