Becoming an Inviting Church
In this third and final session Fr James Mallon takes about what makes a church healthy. He uses the analogy of the human body which has 11 systems of the human body ,
If once of these is not working it effects all the others .
He explains that the church has 5 systems and that is helpful to look at each one as they relate to the parish to begin to see how healthy our parish is .
1. Worship - mind and heart raised to God - liturgy of the Eucharist
2. Ministry - Anytime someone is serving in any capacity- there are internal and external ministries. 90% of parishes focus on internal ministries
3. Fellowship - meaningful community which is growing and developing missionary disciples.
4. Evangelisation- making Jesus know to others
5. Discipleship Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations.” The command is as clear as day.
Fr Mallon explains that the role of the priest is to feed his sheep. The current way this is done is by cramming food into them for 45 mins on a Sunday (generic feeding) and then when they die burying them.
Fr Mallon talks about making Ninja Sheep - people who are mature and are able to lead.
He speaks about the need for a vision, then a purpose statement and finally an action plan with people identifies who are able to execute it. Fr Mallon speaks in detail about the value of developing an Alpha program and the importance of this not being just for parish members, but that people should be invited who are none believers.
Perhaps now is a good time to ponder, as we look to the future when our parish reopening fully is, what vision and dream do you have for building our community at St Clements.
The following questions make help to formulate your thoughts.
What indicates that the weekend liturgies are a priority in St Clements?
How do we celebrate liturgy in such a way that it touches and effects everyone else in the parish?
What stands in the way of making more out of the weekend liturgies?
Who welcomes who at the weekend liturgies ?
How are people identified and welcomed?
Who follows up with new people and makes sure they are finding their way into parish life?
Does the parish sing with full participation?
How do we evaluate our present music ministry?
How do we ensure that our music is diverse?
Is the parish priest open to feedback and suggestions about his homilies
Do the homilies follow the suggestion of pope Francis.?
Do people know what is expected of them when they come forward for sacraments or other activities.?
How do we communicate parish expectations?
Are people offered ministry work in the parish that fits their strengths
What processes do we have in place to help people meet and encounter the Holy Spirit?
Do people have enough opportunities to share their faith?
How can we create opportunities to which we can invite the unchurched in our parish?
How do we invite those who have been absent from the parish to return.
How do we prepare our active memebers to become"spirit filled evangelisers.
Questions taken from Bill Huebsch book the Divine renovation group reading guide.