The Big Goal
By 2026, each parish in the Archdiocese of Omaha will be a Missional Community.
- The pastor and his key leaders will be better able to model and coach others to collaborative leadership if they first have an experience of it for themselves.
- As assignments become more complex, a pastor’s attention is taken away from his capacity to shepherd. Having a leadership team allows him to share the ordinary tasks of running a parish so that he can begin “equipping the saints”.
- Forming a Leadership Team Document - This document outlines the practical realities that should be considered when forming a leadership team.
- Small group - Invite potential team members to participate. This can serve as a trial run where you can get to know your leaders better and observer their commitment to even a short term series of meetings.
- Pray a Discernment Rosary for the individuals that you might invite to a book study or eventually to a proto-leadership team. Conversations with the Lord and those invited are a practical discernment, and so this rosary lets you hear from the Lord and provides a concrete way to pray about who to invite.
- Host a weekly study with all potential members of your leadership team. We recommend the book Pope Francis and the Joy of the Gospel: Rediscovering the Heart of a Disciple by Edward Sri.
This assessment was built to help a pastor and his team consider how their parish already embodies the characteristics of Collaborative Leadership and to identify potential areas of growth.
It is most useful when the pastor and at least 5 parish leaders take it. We recommend that this be a pastor and his leadership team. If you do not have a leadership team, potential parish leaders include other clergy, parish/finance council members, parish/school staff, ministry leaders, volunteers with influence, or anyone the Holy Spirit places on your heart.Steps:
- Send this Assessment link to all chosen leaders. We recommend you give them a deadline by which to take the assessment.
- Schedule a 1.5 hour follow-up meeting to discuss the results.
- Take a look at the Discussion Guide, and plan your meeting.
- Print a copy of the assessment results and discussion guide for each team member and bring them to the meeting.
Great team meetings are fun and energizing. They lead to better decisions, and team members are more likely to be committed to and feel accountable for the success of those decisions.
One of the best resources we have found is Death by Meeting by Patrick Lencioni. While the book is short and easy to digest here’s a four page handout summary as well. As this resource was built for the secular corporate world, parish teams will also want to add a team retreat to their meeting schedule. Additionally, team retreats can be combined with the quarterly off-site described in the book.
Another addition to the meetings described is team prayer. In Christifideles Laici, Pope St. John Paul II tells us, “Communion with Jesus, which gives rise to the communion of Christians among themselves, is an indispensable condition for bearing fruit.” We have seen intentional time spent in prayer at the beginning of each meeting lead to increased trust among team members as well as a more confident discernment of God’s will. While the form of prayer your team adopts can vary, we recommend that you strive to embody the principles laid out in the article Principles of Team Prayer.
Helping your key leaders grow takes regular contact and time. You can provide support for them in several ways:
As a team: Every team goes through recognizable stages as it develops. Read about these stages in The Stages of Group Development, and then take the article to your team. Ask, “What stage is the team in?” and try out the action that we recommend teams take in order to move into the next stage.
As a manager: Good leaders very often need a great manager to help them thrive and develop their ministries. Great managers capitalize on the individual strengths of their leaders by investing personally in each of them. To understand this concept more, and to hear some tips on how to invest in your leaders as a manager, check out The One Thing the Best Team Builders Do.
As individuals: Another way to invest personally in each of your leaders is to choose 1-3 key leaders that you would like to see grow over the next year. Establish a recurring meeting time to talk about their ministry and to share the leadership skills that you are learning.
Clear Path to Discipleship
How does our parish make disciples? Where do people in our parish experience conversion and then grow in their relationship with Jesus? Are we ready to receive people at any point in the journey at any time of the year? These questions help us begin to plan a clear path of discipleship.