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Crossing the Threshold - Parish Evangelisation Team Recruitment Considerations

06/04/2016 12:00 pm

The Task:

Your parish is invited to recruit a minimum of 8 – 9 (ideally 12) people who will serve as members of a parish evangelisation team for an initial period of one year.

The Brief:

The team exists to envision, plan and resource a three-year parish evangelisation plan. It is not envisaged that the team will do all the work and implementation, but that they will create a five-point evangelisation plan, inviting and encouraging fellow parishioners to help implement it.

Possible Recruitment Steps

1) Pray for guidance about who to approach

2) Make a general parish appeal via word of mouth, the pulpit, the newsletter and on the parish website

Sample appeal text: Middlesbrough Diocese

New Parish Initiative: 'Crossing the Threshold’ Team Creation To Reach Out To Non Churchgoing (lapsed) Catholics
Research suggests that approximately 80% of baptised Catholics never or rarely attend Mass. We all know someone who is distant from the life of faith, but many people do re-connect if invited. Bishop Drainey has invited our parish to take the lead in this area of outreach by forming a new team to pioneer ministry to lapsed Catholics, as well as generally explore ways of developing parish mission. If you’re interested in finding out more and / or potentially supporting this initiative – there is a role for everyone – please ask Father. This initiative will be supported by the Diocesan Evangelisation Commission and the Bishops’ Conference Home Mission Desk and we are planning to have our first meeting on INSERT LAUNCH DAY DATE, TIME, VENUE.

note:
Not everyone who comes forward will be called to join the parish team, but everyone who comes forward will have some role to play in the work of parish evangelisation. Some people, for example, will be more suited to serving as evangelisation co-workers who could help at outreach events and when practical tasks need to be completed.

You may therefore find that the general appeal helps in the recruitment process to identify:

  • Full parish evangelisation team members
  • A separate co-workers’ group who can be called upon to help out with practical tasks when needed.

3) Seek / Approach people with specific skills

It can be helpful to have a team made up of people who, as a group, possess the following skills and talents:

1) Leader - Parish Priest (PP) and / or lay designated team leader – often it can be helpful to have both because the PP may not be able to make every meeting because of sick calls or other commitments.
2) Parish stalwart – people who know the parish and its members well, who can be relied upon to support you and the team, and complete assigned tasks
3) Previously lapsed Catholic
4) Younger parishioner(s) (under 35)
5) Administrative and computer skills
6) Creative and imaginative
7) New convert
8) Deacon, religious and / or consecrated
9) Professional – someone more likely to have experience of critical thinking, strategy creation and project appraisal
10) Family man / woman (both)

Note:
Consider if the proposed make-up of your team reflects a diversity of ages, backgrounds and ethnicity, as reflective of the general make-up of the parish and its environs.

General Considerations

Is the proposed team member:

Practising and enthusiastic about being a Catholic
Committed to prayer
Formed in the basics of the Catholic Faith
Able to work in a team
Able to learn and listen and trust
Able to empathise
Committed, and able to give the time, to a year of service as a member of the team
Willing to share their faith with others
Willing to do, as well as plan and think
Aware of what is being asked of them – show them the project brochure and calendar
Has a sense of humour

See our collation of  Supplementary Materials 401.35 kB

Clare Ward, Home Mission Desk, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales – Secretariat. © CBCEW 2014