Communication Making Church Matter What's new at Nativity

The Rebuilt Field Guide

June 17, 2016

I just got back from another trip visiting our publisher, Ave Maria Press, at Notre Dame. I’m always inspired and grateful after spending time with them. (By the way, allow me to make a plug for their amazing parish resources, check them out @

There was a lot on our agenda.

We started exploratory talks concerning another full-length book a little further along down the road. I am not going to tell you the topic, you will just have to stay tuned for that. All I will say it that we propose to tackle a tough, touchy, yet critically important topic at the core of every parish and organization. It is one that is increasingly an issue in our ability to grow disciples and reach the lost. You may guess what it might be, but I’m not saying.

Anyway, we also discussed the upcoming October release of our new book, The Rebuilt Field Guide: Ten Steps for Getting Started. One of the most common questions we get from visitors or when we speak elsewhere is, “What do we do first?” The first step in rebuilding is always the hardest. The Field Guide we believe, as the title states, is all about getting started, getting your team moving. Here are some principles for the guide:

Team-based exercises

Parish rebuilding never happens alone. This book is designed for parish leadership teams to read and discuss together. Every chapter features focused questions to get your team communicating in new ways.

Set your own pace exercises

The ten exercises (not meetings, or weeks, exercises) are designed as a go-at-your-own-pace type format. That means you could spend a week, a month, or more on a single exercise. I hope and think your parish will start seeing some type of impact soon after your team begins a concerted effort at implementing these exercises. But remember, it took us at Nativity years before we started experiencing the fruit we are now witnessing. In fact, the ten exercises aren’t even necessarily in strict order. We hope during the process you revisit and re-evaluate exercises you’ve already covered or worked on before.

Practical and adaptable exercises

The Field Guide is meant to be practical, not bogged down in facts and figures. There are other resources out there if you want that. We also recognize that no parish is exactly alike, so we wanted to make the guide adaptable. We share transferrable principles that work in any environment.

Spiritual exercises

Prayer is an essential, non-negotiable aspect of rebuilding. We hope the exercises themselves are a type of prayer. Every chapter features prayer and what we call a “rally cry” to help keep your team motivated and on vision.


Available October 2016:

Ave Maria Press, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble.


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