There are some awesome speakers at this weekend’s Institute on Religious Life National Meeting in the Chicago area.

But your greatest advantage may lie outside of the halls of these stellar speakers.

You see, there will be hundreds of young, faithful Catholics at the meeting, and you can start some great relationships there.

I’ve got a technique for vocations that’s sure to be a winner.

The trick is to hold a special informal workshop on Catholic life right on one of the grassy areas outside the conference hall. You can call the talk, “Dominican (or Mercedarian, or Franciscan, etc.) Religious Life – What’s It’s All About.” Promise special prizes, but don’t give away details.

At the meeting, with the young people stretched out on the grass with their lunches, you’ll give a little skit between two of your religious. One will play the novice master, and the other an aspirant. You will make up an ongoing dialog that will no doubt pique their interest.

Then you will have an involvement activity. For example, you can give out free holy cards for those who can answer certain questions about saints in your congregation. Or even a free booklet or two.

I know you’re the creative type, so you can flesh it out from here. Don’t forget to get their contact information, such as phone and email. Promise that they will get a newsletter on how to become better Catholics and discern their vocation.

Invite these people during the morning session with youth, and as they come to your table. Start your workshop at 12:30 pm. That will give them time to get their box lunches.

If the weather is bad, meet in one of the rooms on the second floor of the conference center.

Not going to the IRL conference? For shame!

Try this technique at any youth conference. God go with you.

Flash – just in:

Do you need a new online donation system? Contact me and I can tell you about the EZ Giving Online payment system for nonprofits and schools. It’s tops!