In its grant-supported efforts to develop lay leadership, 60 All Saints and St. Martin de Porres congregants participated in a joint Pastoral Council and Staff Workshop on May 11, 2019. As these parishes begin the transition to a new pastor, the workshop focused on an approach that is a relational rather than a bureaucratic model of leadership.
Pastor James Honig, a Lutheran pastor, trained in congregation-based organizing presented the difference between a maintenance church and one that is missional in making Christ present in the world. His presentation included a reflection on five questions that would impact evangelization: 1.) How do we spend our time? 2.) What do we recruit parishioners for? 3.) How do we make decisions? 4.) How do we deal with conflict/tension? and 5.) What do our meetings look like?
In order to achieve parishioner engagement, leaders learned to listen generatively and discern: What am I hearing? A helpful tool in the missional leadership approach is to devote time and effort to one-on-one individual meetings. Pastor Honig defined these meetings as “Face to face meetings where two human beings discern who they are and what they are passionate about.” The effectiveness of such meetings depends on hearing enough to act and to maximize the gifts and resources of the congregation.
In their evaluation of the event, congregants felt the workshop was helpful in their desire to evangelize their parishes and communities.
A follow-up gathering is being considered.