Rebuilt tells the story of what happened to us, what we learned, and what we now know about growing a healthy parish. It is all about the twin exercises of discipleship and evangelization, or what we have come to call awakening the faithful, while also, and at the same time, reaching the lost- oh, and in the process, making church matter.
The formation, composition, and publication of the book were a challenging, surprising, and ultimately thrilling experience. All of it was unlikely and therefore unexpected. It was also life changing. One of the things that changed markedly about our lives was the sudden interest we attracted and the new demands on our time. It quickly became commonplace for visitors from other parishes to show up at our church any time of the week and throughout the weekend.
Basically, all the interest came down to the same thing: “Tell us how to do it; tell us how to grow a healthy parish.” And that is something we very much wanted to do. The only problem was, despite our best intentions, we simply could not help everyone who reached out to us (and run our own parish at the same time).
That’s where this little book, what we came to call a “Field Guide,” started taking shape. It occurred to us that a guide to rebuilding in the deep weeds of parish life might be a helpful thing.
In it you will find very little that comes as news, perhaps nothing at all that you didn’t already know. We do not pretend to suggest that are many original insights here. In fact, it’s all rather simple and straightforward. How’s that for a sell?
This is not a silver bullet or quick fix, nor is there any grand strategy out there waiting to be discovered. We’ll tell you exactly how we did and continue to do things here. Then, you apply or adapt what you think might work in your setting and, in the process, learn more about what actually does work for you. We think this is an ideal tool for parish leadership teams or staffs to use. But we also hope it will serve as a clear, simple guide for any parishioner who loves their parish, wants to see it grow, and is looking for basic ways to help make that happen.
You really only need one thing: a team. Along with some discipline, commitment, and a little humility and honesty, you can begin to see the kind of change in your church that can change hearts.