Sharing Church management best practices in the Catholic Church
Today I received a question from a Pastor in Connecticut:
Are you familiar with an instrument for homily evaluations, something to be given out to parishioners and filled out by them?
In addition to asking the question on our CatholicPastor.org forum, I am interested to hear if anyone on this forum has experience of such an evaluation tool and can recommend something.
Added by Michael Brough on January 14, 2013 at 4:37pm — No Comments
Some may be saying it ain’t so, but really, when your parish got a new, new pastor, odds are you drew one of the long straws. Your sense of parish mission is about to be stretched.
Here is what we learned about first-time pastors in the INSPIRE project. They bring energy, and they bring spiritual depth refined by a sense of anticipation and vulnerability. For what seems to them ages, they’ve been rehearsing this role, usually as associate pastors. (Chicago still enjoys the…Continue
Added by Daniel Gast on January 8, 2013 at 12:39pm — No Comments
I can't imagine anyone who works for the Church or a Catholic nonprofit feeling that they have too much on their plate ;-) but just in case you know of someone who may be experiencing fatigue at work...
There is an excellent post on the…Continue
Added by Michael Brough on December 11, 2012 at 4:38pm — No Comments
Recruitment and Selection Process – Why is the process important?
BUT WHY – I KNOW WHO I WANT TO HIRE?
This question comes up frequently from the director / employer as a response to my insistence on following a proven process.
I will get comments such as:
In Chicago, we are daily, weekly, conscious of the reputation we are getting. Our children are dying, victims of gunfire, and at least some of the shooters are children. Days ago, on the steps of a Catholic Church on our South Side, as a funeral service let out, two people were shot, the young man who died on the sidewalk shot 17 times.
The weekend after, a large group of parishioners arrived from another parish 30 miles to the north, just to offer solidarity and join in…Continue
I recently attended a professional development breakfast event organized by our provincial Human Resources Association. Attendees had the opportunity to choose 4 of 7 table discussion topics with 20 minutes per discussion. I choose the following:
Table #1 - Professional Practice:
Aligning HR to Business Strategy with a Focus on Succession 101
Table #2 - Organizational…
Added by Marisa Ruggier-Andrews on November 16, 2012 at 2:46pm — No Comments
We are preparing guidebooks for pastor transition. To meet a deadline, our team sent out a survey to Chicago area lay ministers in August. Late summer is not a good time to survey “parish people,” when most take their last breakaways and vacations before start-up of Fall activities.
But because the survey asked people to tell us about their experiences of learning their pastor would be leaving—all the way through to receiving and learning the ways of their new pastor—we got a nearly…Continue
Added by Daniel Gast on November 11, 2012 at 10:10pm — No Comments
The Pilot diocesan newspaper in Boston reports on a recent gathering of more than 25 leaders of archdiocesan affiliates to create connections, learn about archdiocesan resources, discuss common challenges, and review operational best practices that increase organizational sustainability.
In attendance were representatives from archdiocesan schools, including Cristo Rey Boston, Trinity Catholic…
Added by Michael Brough on November 9, 2012 at 3:32pm — No Comments
Eight years ago, before we selected candidates from among pastoral staffs applying to our project, we thought it good to make a few rules. In truth, I must admit that I proposed the first one…, and that I should’a known better.
Our mission was to help parish pastoral staffs form themselves as collaborative, mission-focused “Pastoral Leadership Teams.” We would be hard pressed, I proposed, to take on any staff where the most significant actor, the pastor, is due for transition to a new…Continue
Today’s blog continues a summary of presentations we made in Chicago Archdiocese during the past year. We explored the INSPIRE project’s top findings about ordained and lay ministers. We asked people to consider the “one thing pastor and parish staff will always tell you, and three things they won’t…” (Later we added a fourth, which comes up in the next blog.)
The “one thing” represented various iterations of our most ubiquitous data set. One way or another, pastoral…Continue
Sometimes statements of parish mission get left behind, or secreted as plaques hidden in plain sight on church lobby walls. Mission focused conversations bring the community’s dedication right to the table or the rectory parlor where pastoral persons explore possibilities, make decisions, and share commitments.
As pastoral leadership teams met to review plans and programs, our parish consultants listened. In most cases they had recommendations for improving communication. Basic…Continue
Added by Daniel Gast on September 8, 2012 at 1:58pm — No Comments
In an effort to build shorter posts, this is a “Part 1” posting about the “Second Thing Pastoral Staffs Won’t Say.” Actually, many of them did say it, but in coded language. Once our parish consultants gained their trust, nearly every team admitted: “We could communicate a lot better than we do.” Often what they meant was, “We don’t handle conflict very well.” And for the record, some staffs came right out with it: “We haven’t learned how to fight fair!”
People working daily in parish…Continue
What a pleasure to read Dan's fine article and to know that he continues to serve as an ecclesial lay minister in our Church! We first met years ago (in our youth), and Dan impressed me with his faith and creative energy. Having experienced the loss of many friends in Church ministry in these challenging times, I am encouraged to learn that Dan is hanging in there and is as thoughful and creative as ever! Fr. Tom Ivory
Please tell Daniel Gast that BUSY is an acronmyn that stands for
BE UNDER SATAN'S YOKE
Added by Claude Saldanha on August 24, 2012 at 7:04pm — No Comments
When our project leaders discussed how to introduce our findings to people in the Chicago Church, we crafted a teaser title, “One Thing the Pastor and Staff Will Always Tell You, and Three Things They Won’t.” The “one thing” was about being busy, the “three things” were connected to that expressed need to be working, doing, performing.
The first “won’t” was any admission about the feeble condition of their spiritual lives. Pastoral people spend their days and nights ministering…Continue
The new Pro Football season will soon be upon us. Whether or not you follow sport or the NFL in particular, you are likely to have heard of Tim Tebow; perhaps the most famous back-up quarterback of all time! An article in USA Today contains the usual celebrity content but what caught my attention was Tebow describing a friend who acts as his "accountability partner"
"My friend doesn't tell me what I want to hear. He tells me what I need to hear, and that's…
Added by Michael Brough on August 15, 2012 at 12:19pm — No Comments
During INSPIRE’s work with over fifty pastoral leadership teams in the Archdiocese of Chicago, we developed a number of key findings about pastors and staffs. One set of findings uncovered personal and group dynamics that either build or block collaborative expressions of pastoral leadership. We expected what rose to the top as the most pervasive finding, so much so that we tended to look past it for more “interesting” outcomes. But the project’s first visiting research professor,…Continue
Overview: Parish Staffs and Pastoral Leadership Teams
The “parish staff,” the “pastoral leadership team”: who are these people? In most U.S. dioceses, it’s possible to give a different answer for nearly every parish. Most parishes have a pastor, though some may have a designated or canonical pastor who lives outside the parish and may supervise the parish administrators or pastoral ministers of several parishes. Many parishes are served by ordained deacons, who may serve on the…Continue
Added by Daniel Gast on August 7, 2012 at 2:37pm — No Comments
Parishes should have well-defined mission statements, and their ministry programs should effectively and efficiently work toward achieving these mission statements.
NLRCM Standards for Excellence, Mission Statement and Ministry Program
As Director of INSPIRE at the Archdiocese of Chicago and Loyola University Chicago, I am privileged to serve pastors and staffs who collaborate and grow healthy expressions of parish mission. INSPIRE is a…Continue
There can be a tendency in Catholic parishes for the assembly to rely too heavily on staff, both ordained and lay. When the inevitable transitions occur--either through normal personnel changes or restricted budgets--it becomes all too apparent that ministry is the work of the assembly and that the role of staff is to facilitate that role rather than do ministry directly. This can be a difficult change for both staff and assembly, one for which most pastoral staff members have not been…Continue