Evangelization

A Simple Plan for Your Fall Stewardship Program

As we approach Thanksgiving many parishes undertake their annual stewardship campaign, to invite giving to the parish in the coming year. It’s a good time of year to do it, ahead of the holidays, but close enough to the new year. And it has to be done, as even the most disciplined and dedicated givers can become […]

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Evangelization

Making Room

Fall is the perfect time for the Church to welcome back parishioners otherwise occupied during the summer months. It is the time to expect visitors and newcomers to give your church a try. Likewise, it is also one of the most effective times to invite your unchurched friends and family to church (the other two […]

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Evangelization

A New Year of Rebuilding Your Parish

The National Eucharistic Revival being sponsored by the USCCB enters its second phase this summer, styled the “Year of Parish Renewal.”  This can be an important opportunity for parishes looking to finally move on from our collective COVID setback, or reignite energy and enthusiasm in the face of ever creeping malaise and missional drift. A quick look […]

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Evangelization

What If My Pastor is the Problem?

I just wrapped up several days at the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress spent talking to parish leaders from across the country. On the final day, at the final session, I offered a presentation gleaned from our recent book Seriously, God? Making Sense of Life Not Making Sense. Specifically, my presentation focused on how to make […]

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Communication | Evangelization

Your Church’s New Front Door

It wasn’t so very long ago that your church’s front door was … your front door. It was how newcomers and visitors (and everyone else) came to you. The values held by growing churches were accessibility and hospitality, making sure those joining you could easily get in and feel welcome. About a dozen years ago […]

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Evangelization

Advent as a Season of Hope

I received a surprise phone call from my friend Rick Warren (yes, the Pastor Rick Warren) over the Thanksgiving holiday. Once I got over my shock that Pastor Rick would take time to speak to me, we got talking about declining and stagnating church attendance following the COVID season. He said to me, “Mike, (he’s the only person who […]

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Evangelization

Next Year in Jerusalem

This time last year, I was reporting on this blog that our attendance was hovering somewhere around one-third of our pre-Covid congregation. We had anticipated that the post-lockdown attendance would be sluggish. But even so, we were surprised by all the empty seats each week. At that time, there were still so many unanswered questions, […]

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Evangelization

Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas (Eve)

Thus says the LORD: You, Bethlehem-Ephrathah too small to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel. – Micah 5:1 It was the prophet Micah who foretold the birthplace of the Messiah. Like other Old Testament prophets, his is a challenging message […]

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Evangelization

The Opportunity of Advent 2021

Advent is far and away my favorite liturgical season of the year. Perhaps it’s because I was ordained just before Advent and the season was my first experience as a priest. Perhaps it’s because the days are getting shorter, the evenings darker and colder, and all that seems perfectly matched with the themes and readings […]

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