Becoming a Missionary Parish
'Someone once said that the Church is the only organisation that exists mainly for the sake of those who do not belong. This is the difference between a church and a club. ... Hospitality, therefore, does not mean being friendly with our friends and all the people who look, think and talk like us, but reaching out to the stranger.' Fr James Mallon
How do we change the culture of our parishes so that they become places of growth and life instead of decline? How do we help our parishioners to become missionary disciples? Many of our parishes have already started asking these questions and have committed to new ways of doing things, journeying together form maintenance to mission. They have found, along with renewal focused parishes from all over the world, that there are three keys to this change.
To really change the culture of a parish, the parish needs to decide to invest in welcoming outsiders but creating a space for them in the parish, that meets them where they're at.
Many of our parishes have found Alpha to be a really fruitful evangelisation tool, ideal for opening up the first questions of faith, and to whether there is more to life.
Leading from your Strengths
Helping parishioners to discover their strengths helps them to lead from their strengths.
This can totally change how ministries are run and save people from burning out, instead leading from joy! This goes for priests too!
'Whoever serves must do so with the strength that god supplies, so that God may be glorified in all things through Jesus Christ.' (1 Peter 4:11)
The Power of the Holy Spirit
Ultimately, evangelisation is the work of God in the hearts of man, and it is the Holy Spirit who will transform us and those who encounter our communities.
'You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has comes on you; and you will be my witnesses ... to the ends of the earth.' (Acts 1:8)