Tis’ the season for evangelizing the joy of Christmas! This time of year brings a unique opportunity to welcome a special group of people into parish life. They don’t typically attend Mass, and that creates the perfect opportunity for outreach and evangelization. While your evangelization director is the obvious champion for these activities, it’s important to recognize that others on your staff also play a crucial role in evangelization.
The Catholic Church is called to be missionary. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) describes the parish’s role in the new evangelization:
“The parish is the neighborhood of the New Evangelization, since it is where the faith is passed down, lived, and sustained for all members of the Body of Christ. Evangelization is rooted in the parish.”
To make the most of this Christmas season, here are five collaborative habits that every member of your parish staff, from business managers to facilities directors, can implement in their role and evangelize.
1. Break Down Silos
Take the time to familiarize yourself with other departments or ministries, and understand how they contribute to the Church’s mission. Build relationships with a staff member in another department and share ideas to improve your welcoming parish experience this season. Some ministries are typically busier than others this time of year; your Liturgy and Facilities teams will have bigger workloads, while your Faith Formation programs might experience less. This could present the perfect opportunity for collaboration at a time when an overstressed team needs support the most. Keep lines of communication open because evangelization won’t be effective if your internal teams are burnt out, lack creativity, and are ready to quit. Every department, even your facilities management staff, has the potential to strengthen or create new opportunities for evangelization. The joy and support they experience through their collaborative work will be infectious, and inspire your parishioners and first-time visitors to feel welcomed, comfortable, and excited to return next week for Sunday Mass.
2. Eat, Pray, Learn Collectively
Praying and learning as a group will not only bring your team closer together, it can also boost morale. Invite others on staff to join you for Adoration, rosary, or an Advent Small Group during this holy season. Then take the invitation a step further outside of your church walls. Hosting an external event like Praise and Worship at a nearby coffee shop or in an area that will make the most impact, can turn a team building event into an evangelizing opportunity with the people in your community. Also, consider enhancing your team’s skill set by taking a communications course as a team, or training on evangelizing new or returning Catholics. Effective communication is vital for fostering a strong and collaborative team of evangelizers.
3. Focus On The Invitation
Prepare a list of small groups or activities tailored for different segments of your parish, and offer a variety of next steps that are personalized for each of them. When they walk into your office, you’ll be ready with a brochure or a QR code to download your parish app to explore what your parish offers, find what interests them, and engage more with their Faith. It will not only help them feel a sense of belonging but also provide you with talking points that open them up to conversations about Faith and allow your staff to evangelize.
4. Follow-Up And Track Engagement
Following up with your Christmas visitors is a necessary step that can easily be overlooked with the busyness of the Christmas season. Pushpay’s Church Management Software does that work for you with process queues to track each person’s status as they progress in their faith journey. Your staff can even set up reminders and notifications for follow-up and accountability. They’ll be able to create groups and pull reports on whether they met up for coffee, prayer, small group, or Alpha; or if they’ve started attending Mass or enrolled in faith formation. Your staff will have all the necessary insights at their fingertips to evangelize effectively and take action at the right time.
5. Bring The Joy Of Christmas To All
Collaborate with your ministry leaders and brainstorm ideas to evangelize to people who won’t be able to join you for Christmas Mass. Your team could choose to bake holiday cookies, or prepare themed gifts with a card and a QR code to download your parish app. Your priests and eucharistic ministers can take those gifts with them to hospitals and care homes they visit and distribute them to the patients and medical staff. The options are endless.
Beforehand, check with your media ministry to ensure that your livestreaming and parish app are up to speed for Christmas Masses, so that anyone who scans your QR code or finds your parish online, will be able to tune in and have a fulfilling experience.
A Catholic Solution That Supports Effective Evangelization
For evangelization to be effective, you not only need trained staff—you also need the right software to support their important work in ministry. ParishStaq is a suite of products that combines your parish’s giving, mobile apps, and church management software into one platform. It offers a host of features that enable your staff to streamline communication and decision-making processes, manage volunteers and faith formation, track and empower your leadership with insights to evangelize more efficiently and effectively.
Ready to experience a better way to carry out your ministry? Take a free self-guided tour of ParishStaq and explore all the features we’ve designed specifically for parish leaders to be successful in their mission.
You May Also Like