Think Young! Intentionality in Planning and Recruiting

One of my favorite lines from the movie La La Land comes from the lips of the character Keith, played by John Legend, as he tells the character Sebastian, played by Ryan Gosling: Jazz is dying because of people like you. You’re playing to 90-year-olds at the Lighthouse. Where are the kids? Where are the young people? You’re so obsessed with Kenny Clarke and Thelonious Monk. These guys were revolutionaries. How are you going to […]

Hosting Adult Faith Formation Viewing Parties

Nowadays, it is very common for people to host viewing parties for all sorts of occasions including pop culture events like the Academy Awards, significant civic events such as a presidential debate, a sporting event, or the premiere or series finale of a TV show. Such viewing parties are hosted in someone’s home, and the hosts send out invitations (usually verbal or through social media) for people to attend and offer hospitality and refreshments for those who […]

Adult Faith Formation and the Problem of “Church Groupies”

When doing faith formation with young people, one of the problems is that no one wants to show that they enjoy being there; that would not be cool. I have found that, when doing faith formation with adults, there are some folks present who are at the opposite extreme. I call them “church groupies.” I’m not talking here of the same loyal folks who faithfully support everything and show up most of the time. I’m […]

Meet the Adult Faith Formation Team

After laying the groundwork over the past year, we are blessed to have an adult faith formation team in place at my parish, Christ the King in Chicago. Presently, the team consists of eight people (Seven are pictured and one was behind the camera!) including our Associate Pastor, Fr. Matt Litak. At our first meeting, we shared our hopes and dreams for adult faith formation at the parish and began discussing ideas for addressing the […]

Becoming a Portal for Spiritual Enrichment Opportunities

CatechistsJourney.com ® is a service of Loyola Press, publishers of the Finding God faith formation program. One of the temptations we face when looking to grow our adult faith formation experience in the parish is to try to become all things to all people when we simply do not have the resources—human and financial—to do everything we would like to do. With that in mind, I propose that parishes think of themselves as a “clearinghouse” […]

A Different Kind of Small Faith Group

Last summer, I posted about some ideas for adult faith formation that were less “churchy” sounding but still unabashedly spiritual. I’m working from the premise that we too often approach adult faith formation as attempting to get adults to come to our turf (the parish grounds) to join groups we are forming to study some aspect of the Catholic faith. Instead, I’m proposing that we identify where and around what activities adults are congregating and invite […]

Adult Faith Formation Does Not Take Off for the Summer

Summer provides us with the perfect time to forge ahead with plans for more robust adult faith formation in the year ahead. At Christ the King Parish, my home parish, we are taking advantage of the summer to lay the foundations for our best year ever in adult faith formation. Building on the success of our small faith groups during Lent, we are now inviting a number of parishioners to consider/discern serving on an adult […]

Adult Faith Formation: Don’t Go It Alone!

One of the traps we often fall into when approaching adult faith formation opportunities is thinking that we have to do it on our own, in isolation from other neighboring parishes. In reality, just the opposite is what is needed: collaboration! Today, when parishes are dealing with limited resources, it may not be practical for every parish to have a full-blown adult faith formation program. Instead, parishes can collaborate on certain aspects of the adult […]

Celebrating (Not-so) Small Successes in Adult Faith Formation

Numerous books and websites dealing with successful leadership strategies identify the importance of celebrating small successes (or “wins” or “victories”). Here is one such example: Brenda Bence: The Top 10 Reasons Why Leaders Should Celebrate Wins. This is precisely the reason why we are hosting a celebration tonight at Christ the King Parish: to celebrate the success of our Lenten small faith groups! Now that we are in the Easter season—a time of celebration—we are hosting […]

52 Ways to Get Mission and Mercy in Motion

As you may know, my most recent book is now available: A Church on the Move: 52 Ways to Get Mission and Mercy in Motion. Many parishes are using this book with their parish staff and/or parish pastoral council and other groups of parish leaders to jump-start some creative brainstorming for energizing their parish faith communities. In the book, I provide 52 practical ideas that can contribute to getting a parish out of the rut of […]

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