Copy How, Know Why

A big factor in our growth at Nativity was getting over our unwillingness to learn and borrow methods from growing, often non-Catholic, churches. But in the process we also had to learn what to look for. We realized that adopting successful methods from other churches required first paying attention to their ministry’s purpose-driven strategy, not […]

5 Defining Characteristics of Valuable Team Members

Everybody has found themselves caught on a team with an ineffective team member. Maybe it was somebody who didn’t want to be there and passive-aggressively resisted the team’s efforts, or worked against them. Maybe it was just someone who was ineffective, lazy, uninterested, or miscast. On the other hand, we have probably also had the […]

5 Things Pastors Should Do

Every parishioner can tell you what a pastor should do. Most would be more than happy to do so. And just try and stop some of them. But rarely is there a great deal of unanimity about what those things are. Sometimes there is, in fact, opposing views about what we should be doing. And […]

5 Things Pastors Shouldn’t Do

Everybody could probably tell you what a pastor should do. But the list of what a pastor, or parish leader of any kind, shouldn’t do is actually much longer. And it is as important to know what not to do as knowing your to-do list. Here are a few, in no particular order. #1. The pastor […]

5 Leadership Lessons Learned From Easter

Easter is the great feast day of the Church, giving life to all our hope. There is no end to what else could be said about it, but I have never really heard much said about this: the Easter story teaches us about leadership, and specifically the kind of leaders Christ wants in his Church. […]

3 “Must Do” Things to Add to Your To-Do List

We’re all looking for the silver bullet, the magic formula, the secret sauce that is going to take our church to the next level in terms of health and growth, discipleship and evangelization. Of course, there is no substitute for hard work and sustained effort, and you need a healthy team of leaders to make […]

5 Signs of Healthy Parish Leadership

When it comes to building a healthy parish (and a healthy parish will be a growing parish) the Eucharist is the source and the summit of our life together. Beyond that are the habits of discipleship: prayer, giving, ministry, evangelization. These are a given for a church to even be a church. But from a […]

Growth Brings Its Own Problems

Our parish is healthy and growing, which is great. We love the energy, the excitement, the sense of strong team ties, good morale, successful efforts. But leading through a season of growth brings its own challenges and problems too. #1. Change That Brought Growth Might Not Sustain It In our church we experienced growth in […]

Lent 2015

The annual observance of Lent brings a two-fold theme of repentance from sin and selfishness, thereby renewing our baptismal commitment, as well as our annual preparation for the celebration of Easter. Traditionally the Church has taught us to turn with renewed discipline and dedication to the spiritual pillars of prayer, penance, and giving. Prayer The […]

Defying Common Wisdom and Standard Practice

At Nativity we often find ourselves defying common wisdom and standard practice, much to the ongoing astonishment of many colleagues and friends. We don’t do it just to be different, we do it because so much of what goes on in churchworld no longer works. But church-people keep doing it anyway, because, well, that’s what […]