One of my favorite discovers of the previous year has been Springtide Research. I’ve shared about them in the past (here). I recently received a preview of their new work Work/Life: Helping Gen Z Flourish & Find Balance, which is quite insightful.
As you read today’s post maybe you’re thinking, “She posts about Springtide Research too often.” It’s because they are doing research that’s speaking to my youth minister’s soul. I want everyone to find a home in the Catholic Church, especially young people. I believe the Catholic Church has what they are seeking – but we do a poor job inviting young people in. Why? I think we don’t really understand them. I think this has probably been true of every new generation, and now I’m just old enough to see a new generation come of age.
Since January 1st I’ve been following along with The Bible in a Year Podcast from Ascension with Fr. Mike Schmitz. Maybe you’ve heard of it? If you haven’t, I’d be shocked as it’s one of the top podcasts on iTunes every single week – beating news outlets, celebrities, and true crime dramas. It’s also quite simple. Jeff Cavins created a reading plan years ago to accompany his The Bible Timeline: The Story of Salvation Bible Study. It walks through the scriptures in a chronological fashion giving the reader an experience of the story of salvation (a great method of reading the scriptures that’s not just starting at page 1 and muddling through too Revelation).
Engaging young adults is a priority for almost every parish I work with to create a Parish Vision Plan. A consistent thought about young adult ministry is that “it’s slippery.” It seems to be one of the hardest ministry to start, develop, grow, and sustain.
Catholics have opinions about how their parishes should function. (That’s a truth you didn’t need me to outline.) Because they are so invested and we want them to be engaged, we include them in the Vision Planning process right from the beginning. The Parish Leadership Team (created to develop a Parish Vision Plan) is composed of people who represent the entire parish community whenever possible: young, old, families, empty nesters, cradle Catholics, converts, English speaking, Spanish speaking, etc. This group of individuals bring their own opinions as well as their fellow parishioner’s insights.
Some weekly activities at the parish are intended to be for the people to grow deeper in the faith. Some are for the pastor to engage with his people. However, the reality is that everything is related to the Mission! Today an idea for a simple opportunity for parishioners to unpack the upcoming Sunday’s Gospel that comes full circle to the homily preached at Sunday’s Mass.