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Small-Community Ideas That Work: Organization

get_organizedDon’t know where to start as you launch small Christian communities in your parish? If your parish team has been in place for a while, is it still all it needs to be to help your small communities stay relevant and vibrant? Wondering how to tell what effect small communities are having on the parish at large and how to maximize their impact? Here are some ideas that can help answer those questions.
First, let’s identify the challenges:
– We need to plan effectively, but we are not sure how to proceed.
– How do we improve on what’s out there?
– How do we keep the small communities together?
– How can we address some of the areas that need improvement?
Mind mapping
Draw a circle in the middle of a page and write a goal in it. Draw lines radiating out from the circle and on each line list a task that is required to reach the goal. Then below each line write the name of a person who will accomplish the task. This is a simple method that works.
Review your Parish Team
If your parish team has been in place for two years or more, has it lost some important elements? Is it still representative of the parish? Do you still have young adults involved? Teens? Is the ethnic/cultural diversity of the parish reflected on the parish team? It will be hard to organize effectively without these pieces in place and these voices being heard.
Focus groups
Feedback from others can help pinpoint areas for growth and improvement. A helpful way to secure this, especially if your parish is large, is through focus groups. Using the parish directory, assemble a few random groups that are a representative sample of the parish and ask them to meet for 90 minutes to discuss several questions, such as, “How would you describe our parish to others?” “What could we do that would make you feel more involved in the parish?” “Have you considered joining a small community? Why, or why not?” “Has the parish done a good job of letting you know about small communities?” Record their answers, and arrange a meeting of the parish team to discuss and act upon these findings.
Small community bulletin boards
Consider putting up a bulletin board for each small Christian community. Put these somewhere in the parish hall or in a hallway that is frequently used. Each small Christian community could use it any way they want. They could put up pictures of their members, report on mission activities, advertise for new members, etc. This simple, easy-to-do idea is the single best way to help the entire parish to think of itself as a “community of communities.” Once the people begin to see the communities as real, united entities, rather than collections of individuals, you are on your way.

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One Response to “Small-Community Ideas That Work: Organization”

  1. Ada Bruno says:

    Great ideas

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