According to the most recent report from the Pew Research Center, we are in a growth market. Why? Because religious participation continues to decline in America. Among these findings: The share of Americans who say they are "absolutely certain" that God exists has dropped eight percentage points, from 71 percent to 63 percent, since 2007, when the last comparable study was made. The percentage of adults who describe themselves as "religiously affiliated" has shrunk six points since 2007, from 83 percent to 77 percent. The shares of the U.S. adult population who consider religion "very important" to them, pray daily, and attend services at least once a month have declined between three and four percent over the last eight years.
Another recent survey concluded that for the first time in the history of America, 55% of Catholic Americans have left the church and 77% of these have little intention of returning. Oddly, this is at the same time that Pope Francis is the most influential person in the world - digital or real, parents remain the most influential person in the lives of young people and a friend's invitation is still the most effective way to get someone to come to church. What does all this say? We are in a growth market. So what is going wrong? Read more...
Move Over for the Game-Changer Generation
We have all heard the disastrous reports regarding declines in church attendance. And yet, for a brilliant moment, all this will seem like just a bad dream as our ranks swell on Christmas. Like Joseph and young Mary, they will wander up to our doors, wondering if there is room at the inn. Those least expected, like shepherds and kings, will fill our ranks as well and many of them will be young. Can we recognize Christ in their company and be Christ-bearers for them?
The iGeneration, Y-Generation, Millennials, Mosaics – whatever the label, they may be the game-changer generation for our parishes. Read more...
Growth is a Real Possibility for Your Parish!
The single most effective way that churches grow is through small faith groupings. One of the most promising processes available today is called Christ Life. Any parish can leverage this process and intentional groups to grow in partnership with other Christ Life parishes in our Diocese. Interested? More information can be obtained here. Read more...
Growth May Have Little to Do With Numbers
Is your parish growing? But more importantly, how do think about growing? Is it numbers? When it comes to church growth little is measured by the numbers. Churches can grow numerically for a variety of reasons, some of which are deceiving or merely coincidental. As with so many other living things, when it comes to vitality, numbers are at best symptomatic of growth, not the cause or the purpose of growth. Read more...
Church Growth: The Next Evangelization
Parish success might come down to the answer to a simple question: Why aren’t we growing? I am convinced that the next evangelization can start with this answer. Why? Because we listen with a mix of astonishment and disbelief to Easter stories of a powerful young church. Why aren’t we just as Spirit-filled today? Many Catholics have been generously sacramentalized. Some are even sufficiently catechized. But too few are adequately evangelize. Could it be that we have lost the capability to warm hearts that yearn for Christ? Read more...
Where Do We Grow from Here?
No outreach initiative is only about getting people to show up at church. Worship is essential, but not sufficient. And for some it isn't first. The Eucharist is an invitation to live out our baptism – grow in faith, by sharing that faith, and be transformed by faith. We are commissioned to keep the faith, but not keep it to ourselves. And isn't the parish is bigger than those who come to Mass every week anyway? Thriving parishes are helping their people to: name it, claim it, tame it and aim it. Do your people live their faith so abundant that it is attracting attention? Would anyone outside the parish, notice or care if your parish moved or closed tomorrow? Jesus offers life in abundance and Jesus claims a growth paradigm for His Church! Ask yourself, where do we GROW from here?
And more Catholics will be returning on our second busiest day of the year which is (guessing?)… Ash Wednesday. What is your plan? Read more...
Parish Evangelization Resources
Responsive Evangelization: Why something new?
New Evangelization and Young Adults
Good Worship Starts with Good Welcome
Intentional Discipleship: What does it look like?
What Do Newcomers See When Arrive?
Support for Catholics Living with Divorce
Always Our Children - to Parents of Homosexual Children
with Suggestions for Pastoral Ministers
Church Teaching regarding Divorce
Resources for Faithful Parenting
Challenges and Marriage Difficulties
Friends Introduce Their Friends to Jesus...
it might be as easy as: 1. Send one of these links to them, 2. Wait a week or so. 3. Ask them about their visit to the website. 4. Invite them to join you for a cup of coffee to discuss it or to accompany you to a church event.
What Else Can Catholics Do?
Grow in faith, give witness to faith, share faith and be transformed in faith...
Explore the Spiritual Riches of Lent
Bless the Home
Bendiciòn de Hogar
Pray the Daily Readings
Pray as You Go (Podcast)
View a Daily Video Reflection
Pray the Morning Office (video)
Digest Church Teaching in Daily Doses
Follow the Blog of Bishop Richard J. Malone
Listen to Lighthouse Catholic Media Messages
St. Paul Street Evangelization
What Else Can a Parish Do?
Parish Bucket List
Bless the Bicycles
Easter - an Ancient Opportunity for a New Evangelization
Connect, Welcome and Engage Catholics
Pray with the Parish - A Homegrown Lenten Prayer Book (Sample)
DIY Lenten Prayer Book (Instructions) contact us for an editable version
Support Vibrant Faith at Home
Equip Catholic and Confident
Host a God Awaits Us... in Our Stories Parish Retreat
Conduct a Parish Vitality Assessment
Open Doors, Minds, and Hearts for People with Disabilities
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