ChurchGROWTH -Reimagine the Parish, Grow Intentional Disciples

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1 ChurchGROWTH -Reimagine the Parish, Grow Intentional Disciples

2 Latest Numbers 23% of Catholics come to church every week 55% (self-reported) left the Church 77% of those who are inactive do not intend to return A sacramental system that presumes parental involvement Faith formation programs that struggle to equip Catholics as missionary disciples AND YET Our leader is the most influential in the entire world Parents... remain the most influential people for a young person A person is more than twice as likely to come to church when invited by a caring friend What does all this say?

3 How do we respond? How would Geicorespond? serving only 23% of their core clients twice as many may be insured but are unimpressed twice that number are unsubscribed for any insurance! We are in a growth market! Why aren t we growing? Why aren t we at least thinking about growth? The problem isn t the problem! We need to re-imagine the parish and plan for our purpose growing disciples!

4 How do we grow intentional disciples? Programs can sometimes presume that people come to faith along the path across which we look back: Believe Behave Belong In reality, the way most of us got here is: Belonging Behaving Believing

5 With Post-Modern People the path of faith is: Belonging Behaving Believing Likewise, with the Rabbi who started all this, who - constructed no synagogue formed a community of belonging. People still respond to an invitation to friendship still follow their heart and are persuaded by the power of living witnesses. - and whenever religious leaders tried to draw Jesus into a theological debate, Jesus turned it into a matter of the heart ( Which commandment is greatest? Who is the neighbor? )

6 New Evangelization with emerging adults the path continues from Belonging Behaving Believing We started as a people of The Way with a discipleship that claimed us love one another, for a life with saints and martyrs. The Gospels were not treatises but stories from witnesses that stirred action and commitment for trust, caring, justice and hope. Disciples have always been hand-made, not program-generated.

7 Evangelization We journey from Belonging Behaving Believing Belief is first and foremost belief in a person Jesus the Way (conduct), the Truth (confession) and the Life (communion). Jesus offered no philosophy, he chose to live in community (belonging). He presented no quantity of irrefutable argument, he invited others to love one another (behaving) and be ambassadors of God s mercy (believing Jesus). It is mercy, not sacrifice that I desire!

8 Pastors and parish leaders know without a mission -no people A NEW PREMISE FOR NEW PARISH EVANGELIZATION: Belonging Behaving Believing = Intentional Discipleship Intentional Discipleship is essential for ChurchGROWTH

9 ChurchGROWTH will assist parishes to grow! - rooted in intentional discipleship to Jesus Christ - FREE! Everything offered is a la carte and customized to fit each, unique, parish setting - and money is available for innovation RESULT: a plan and a process for intentional discipleship that causes engagement and ChurchGROWTH.

10 Why? Because Catholic parishes CAN: WELCOME: Make hospitality everyone s business and take advantage of existing opportunities: every Christmas, from Ashes to Easter, at weddings, baptisms and funerals USE SMALL GROUPS: to develop a sticky experience of Church and form intentional disciples who encounter Christ, follow Christ, enjoy Christ and share Christ

11 Parishes can: USE SOCIAL MEDIA:Align the megaphones of social media within the parish individual and institutional, for evangelization REACH OUT TO NEWCOMERS: and inactive Catholics FOSTER FAITH AT HOME: with new, high quality online resources INVITE YOUNG CATHOLICS TO LIVE FAITH OUT LOUD: by giving witness and planting the seeds of compassion in the community

12 ChurchGROWTHPlan: 1. Prepare Diocese mobilizes a core of parishes to conduct ChristLifeand serve as local resources to other parishes moving forward and invite parish leaders to study Forming Intentional Disciples by Sherry Weddell. What does it mean to pursue growth? What is the connection between discipleship and growth, or discipleship and parish vitality? Can this approach reinvigorate the programs and ministries of the parish? The Division for Evangelization and Catechesis will provide parish leaders with training and consultation support for applying this process for intentional discipleship to key areas of parish life. (Spring Fall 2016)

13 ChurchGROWTH Plan: 2. Equip Diocese will assist parish to develop a plan for enhancing intentional discipleship in a specific area of parish life with measures for impact on the broader congregation. (Some parishes may opt to focus on a target population outsiders or insiders, developing strategies for connecting, welcoming and engaging that population. This will be complimented by upcoming implementation of a new curriculum elementary grades) Full Menu of Customized Training Experiences -offered across the diocese (parish, cluster, region): Catholic and Confident, God Awaits Us In Our Stories, along with ChristLifeand Be My Witness, Networking with Heaven 1.0 and 2.0 programs.

14 Evangelization the Game-Changer A Leadership Course Customized training in five to ten sessions that includes the following topics in Catholic evangelization: 1. Jesus: the Game Changer -Hero or Hoax. 2. The Who, What, How and Why of Catholic Evangelization 3. Being and Forming Intentional Disciples as Our Mission 4. A Strategy for Changing the Game Prepare, Equip, Connect, Welcome, Engage 5. Connecting and Welcoming at Church 6. Connecting and Sharing Faith Online 7. Forming Intentional Disciples & Equipping Parents at Home 8. Evangelization with the Game-Changer Generation 9. Develop Parish Capacity, a Parish Plan, and Best Parish Practices 10. A Spirituality that Sustains Evangelization

15 Network with Heaven 2.0 Align the Megaphones of Social Media to get out the word and let the Word be heard (at your parish and at your convenience) For more information contact: Dennis Mahaney at or to:

16 Church for a Game-Changing Generation Millennials are the largest generation on our planet the most educated generation in the history of our species with rising economic, social, cultural & political power, (wielding the most spending power, eclipsing Boomers, by 2018) What distinguishes Millennials and Gen Z? Is Christianity still relevant? What do they want from church? Are we capable of communicating our hope in Christ Jesus? Young people are virtuosos at adaptation and they can keep us in the game.

17 ChurchGROWTH- Shift to Parishes: 3. Connect Parishes will identify a target population and equip leaders and parishioners to reach out (e.g. less involved parishioners, newcomers and visitors, young families or young adult seekers). This could include several steps (e.g. coordination of communications and social media to align the megaphones and develop an online visitor welcome center ) Participating parishes will receive diocesan support to implement customized plans, adopt proven strategies for congregational renewal and outreach to newcomers (e.g. New Mover services, life-mentoring, neighborhood gatherings)

18 3. (Stay) CONNECTED and ENGAGE 500 Retention is key and it happens in small 400 groups. To double in size as a congregation 300 of 250 over ten years requires new members at a 30% retention 0 - rate (great by most standards) OR - only 357 newbies at a retention rate of 70%. 600 Church Size over 10 Years 834 Newbies 30% Retention Rate 357 Newbies 70% Retention Rate 1 2 No strategy creates retention like small groups, and when coupled with spiritual direction! By 2017, the Diocese will establish ChristLifeor Be My Witness in two dozen parishes.

19 ChurchGROWTHParishes: 4. Welcome Perceptive parishes see the importance of welcome, and form a team and make a plan for intentional hospitality. Diocese will provide ongoing support for parishes to enhance outward focus and intentional hospitality. Opportunities for welcome are endless and can include: Ash Wednesday outreach ideas; hospitality training for ministers of first impression, formation for the congregation who are all ministers of first impression, establish a visible welcome center with information, guest surveys, contact cards strategically placed around the campus worship space, reception area and meeting rooms.

20 Heart for Hospitality - It s everyone s business (at your parish and at your convenience) What Does Hospitality Look Like in Action? What are the Christian Roots of Hospitality? Difficult Situations with Tips, Common Mistakes The Consequences and Blessings of Parish Hospitality Practice Skills in Real Life Scenarios

21 ChurchGROWTHParishes: 5. Engage-Parish will implement a customized plan that includes growing intentional Catholics who are active in living out their Baptism beyond Sunday worship. This can be done in a variety of ways in small groups, at home, or through social media. Engagement can revitalize existing parish ministries as well as invite Catholics to join in off-campus ministries on behalf of the least, last and the lost in partnership with various Catholic Charities projects, Mother Theresa Home, St. Luke s Mission of Mercy, St. Gianna Pregnancy Center Harvest House, etc.) (Funds are available in 2 nd year.)

22 ChurchGROWTH can be as simple as a plan that includes: maximize existing welcome opportunities that come every Christmas, Easter, weddings, baptisms and funerals. use small groups that energize the entire congregation to encounter Christ, follow Christ, enjoy Christ and share Christ. Examine existing ministries and programs for their capacity to grow deliberate disciples. make hospitality everyone s business, reach out to newcomers and inactive Catholics and align the megaphones of social media across the parish. foster deliberate discipling at home using new, high quality online resources invite Catholics to live their faith out loud and plant the seeds of compassion in the community

23 Prepare, Equip, Connect, Welcome, Engage Belonging Behaving Believing Discipleship Vitality ChurchGROWTH!

24 Next Steps Interested Parishes can: Form a team at the parish to discuss the potential of this project for their future and start growing as a parish Use the parish planning guide to name parish strengths, aspirations, opportunities and capacities set priorities and develop plans Contact Dennis Mahaney for a customized orientation to the ChurchGROWTH process and begin planning now

25 ChurchGROWTH -Reimagine the Parish, Grow Intentional Disciples

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