Recently, I had the privilege of spending a day with a 50–60 catechetical leaders in the Diocese of Joliet, IL, exploring adult faith formation. Here is the title and description of my topic:
A Change of Climate: How to Create a Parish “Greenhouse Effect” that Fosters the Growth of Adult Faith Formation
Adult faith formation is not accomplished via a program or an event or even a series of events. Rather, it is stimulated by a wide variety of approaches that ultimately lead to a “change of climate” in the parish—one in which adult faith formation is fostered at every turn. In this seminar, Joe Paprocki, DMin, will explore strategies for transforming the parish into a “greenhouse” for adult catechesis—an environment in which controlled conditions enable a wide variety of adult faith formation experiences to flourish.
In a greenhouse, one can manipulate conditions in order to create a climate in which plant life will flourish: heat, light, shade, irrigation, humidity, carbon dioxide, and so on. In our parishes, we likewise need to manipulate certain conditions in order to create a climate in which adult faith formation (and ultimately disciples of Christ) will flourish!
Just as in a greenhouse we adjust a thermostat from cold to hot or a humidifier from low to high, we need to make some adjustments in our parishes in order to create conditions that support adult faith formation. Here are some of the adjustments I spoke of with folks in Joliet.
Adjusting the Way We Think
- From Self-Sufficiency to Amazing Grace
- From Complacency to Urgency
- From Spa to Fitness Center
- From Religion to Spirituality
Adjusting the Way We Function
- From Requesting Volunteers to Mobilizing Vocations
- From Business Meetings to Worshipful Work Sessions
- From Paternalism to Empowerment
- From Presumptuous to Unassuming
Adjusting the Way We Worship
- From Perfunctory to Robust
- From Words to Signs
- From Announcements to Altar Calls
- From Lullabies to Hymns of Triumph
Adjusting the Way We Form Disciples in Faith
- From Indoctrinating to Instigating
- From One-Size-Fits-All to Variety
- From Pupils to Apprentices
- From Information to Transformation
Adjusting the Way We Engage the World
- From Maintenance to Mission and Mercy
- From Therapeutic to Militant
- From Involvement to Heroism
- From Fugitives to Witnesses
Needless to say, we had a wonderful time exploring these topics. I’ll share more in days and weeks to come!