Making Church Matter

Preview: 2013

January 3, 2013

Some notes on what’s ahead this year.

#1. The Book

Probably the most important and consequential event in 2013 for me will be the publication of our book, Rebuilt(Ave Maria Press, Notre Dame, Ind., 2013). The release date is in late February and we will be celebrating all weekend, February 23 & 24.  Since the book is “The Story of a Catholic Parish” it seems important that the whole parish celebrate with us.

Along with the book we (Tom, my co-author and associate) will be speaking at some events in different parts of the country…not sure of those details yet. Hopefully many such opportunities will develop so we can get the word out that this is a book people can use in their parishes. This is a book that can make a difference to a lot of places and with people who are struggling.


#2. Strategic Campus Planning

Less clear, but also of consequence will be our campus planning. This has already been a roller-coaster ride of an experience, and we haven’t even done anything yet. Well, not quite anything. What we have done is our due diligence, we have learned a lot about our needs, how they can be addressed on our campus and what opportunities are available beyond our campus. 2013 will be a year for some decisions, consensus building and, eventually, enlisting financial support.


#3. Our Message Series

We have already planned our message series through the spring and I am really excited about them. We’re kicking things off this month with a very different kind of series called “The Story of Your Life” all about our individual stories and how they’re connected to the great big story that God is telling. We plan on just 4 series between now and Memorial Day: besides our opening one, one for Lent, one for the season of Easter, and one for spring.


#4. Small Groups

As part of the story series we will be promoting Small Groups, and in February we have a huge small group launch for new members and new groups.  I am really hoping that this is the year for Small Groups. We have been turning the fly wheel on this spiritual discipline for a few years now, and while we have had growth spurts, the number of people in groups is not what I would call a healthy percentage of the people in our church. I would like to see that change in 2013, I would like to become a church of small groups, not just a church with small groups. Groups are the key to growing a healthy church.


#5. Another Book

I don’t know if this is presumptuous or whatever, but Tom and I have actually started work on anther book. It will be a companion to the first, though much shorter and simpler.  What we have in mind is more of a series of “how to’s” when it comes to successful parish life.

Those are a few previews of the coming year.

Happy New Year.


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