Reflecting on 2021

As I turn the calendar from one year to the next, I typically take some time to look at what worked and what didn’t so I can adjust for the new year. How often do you do this type of reflection in parish work? If you’re anything like me when I was in ministry, probably not all that often. If you do this already, great job!!

So what to reflect on … I’m choosing to focus these questions on impact. I’ve been taught for a few years now by Jason Shanks, the president of the OSV Institute for Catholic Innovation, to focus on impact. Rather than what we did – let’s look at how it was received and what happened next. He didn’t invent this way of looking at ministry – Jesus did. I’m sure you know the verse, “by their fruits you will know them.” (Matthew 7: 15-20)

Take some time this month look at the impact, the fruit of what you did in 2021. What worked, what didn’t, what can you do again, what can you change?

Questions for Reflection about “What Worked:”

What was the most impactful event or activity your parish hosted in 2021?

What made this event impactful?

Clearly write out the impact you intended when planning the event.

Questions for Reflection about “What Didn’t Work:”

What was the least successful event or activity your parish hosted in 2021?

What prevented your desired impact?

What would you do differently next time you host this event?

Is there a different event you can host in 2022 to have your desired impact?

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