Collaborative Leadership
Clear Path to Discipleship
Culture of Generosity

The Big Goal

“In six years, each parish in the Archdiocese of Omaha will be a Missional Community.”

– Archbishop Lucas, October 2020

Why Do We Have The Big Goal?
The Lord continues to invite us to a deeper commitment to the Archdiocese vision: One Church: Encountering Jesus, Equipping Disciples, and Living Mercy. This is necessary because, “We are experiencing a diminishment. If we are going to move into the future, cooperating with grace, we need to know the world we are living in and be honest about what our current efforts are yielding as a harvest” (Archbishop Lucas). And so, we set a goal and defined 3 Characteristics of a Missional Community:
  1. Collaborative leadership
  2. Clear Path of Discipleship
  3. Culture of Generosity
EquipCast 36: 3 Key Characteristics of a Missional Community
What is a Missional Community?
A stable eucharistic group of disciples of Jesus, under the leadership of a pastor, formed within the community to accept the great commission of Jesus and equipped by the Holy Spirit to witness the Gospel to their neighbors.

Missional Community Definition

“We look at the word missional, and it means to be sent… So missional communities will be outward-looking…in a way that really allows the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the power of his death and resurrection to sort of burst out of the bounds of the parish, burst out of the organizational structures of the parish, to have an influence on the greater community around us.”

– Archbishop Lucas, EquipCast 35: Archbishop Lucas on The Big Goal

Collaborative Leadership

The pastor acknowledges gifts of leadership in certain clergy and laity and invites them to collaborate with him and each other to form and sustain the parish as a missional community.
Leadership Team
A pastor invites key individuals who are representative of his parish to a leadership team. They meet regularly, have a clear understanding of their purpose, and work toward a healthy team dynamic. This team can then help the pastor set and achieve goals around becoming a missional community.
  1. Forming a Leadership Team– the who, what, why, and how of forming a team
  2. Pope Francis and the Joy of the Gospel – a weekly study to vet potential members
  3. Death by Meeting summary – a guide for fun, energizing meetings
  4. The Stages of Group Development – a guide to growing a high performing team
  5. Leadership Teams with Pat Lencioni – build a healthy team dynamic
Culture of Prayer
A pastor, his leaders, and all people involved in parish ministry spend substantial time in prayer during meetings. This regular practice of inviting God into the work of the Church can then spread to other events and people. Types of prayer include personal, intercessory, and discernment around mission.
  1. Principles of Team Prayer
  2. WRAP Template
  3. Discernment Rosary
Parish Vision
The parish has a simple, localized vision statement informed by the Archdiocesan vision. Parish leaders have clarity about its meaning and align their ministries to support the vision.
  1. Finding Your Vision – learn to articulate your vision for the future
  2. Developing a Vision - a short document to get you imagining
  3. Key Influencers - test your vision with key leaders
Communication and Collaboration
Parish leaders have common goals and regularly communicate about them. The most important messages are prioritized (those around mission and vision), and all parishioners understand the goals that are most important to the parish. Leaders have multiple modes of communicating these messages.
  1. Simon Sinek: Start with 'Why'- how to inspire change
  2. Managing Transition- how to help people through a change
  3. Foundations of Great Parish Communication - how to message well
  4. Overcommunicate Clarity by Patrick Lencioni
  5. Overcommunicate More Effectively
  6. Digital Church- EquipCast about navigating ministry online

Clear Path to Discipleship

A parish framework designed to help both new and experienced parishioners take the next step in their formation as missionary disciples of Jesus. This effort acknowledges the importance of ongoing formation and of the dynamism of the Holy Spirit offered to individuals and to the community.
Discerning Your Clear Path
A pastor and his leadership team in conjunction with other leaders discern and build the Clear Path in their parish. They then work to communicate this path to all parishioners.
  1. How could a Clear Path help our parish?
  2. Foundations of the Clear Path (Workshop videos and resources)
  3. If you would like to begin mapping your Clear Path, contact the Parish Support Team.
Relational Outreach
Parish ministries with the explicit purpose of building relationships of trust with non-believers and then helping these people to take the next step in their relationship with Jesus.
  1. EquipCast 28: The Clear Path to Discipleship Step 1
  2. Why Accompaniment is More Necessary than Ever
Conversion Moment
A parish ministry with the explicit purpose of proclaiming the Gospel and fostering conversion and the desire to follow Jesus as a part of his Church.
  1. EquipCast 19: The Clear Path to Discipleship Step 2
  2. Alpha Nebraska – one type of conversion engine
Faith Formation
Parish ministries with the explicit purpose of supporting disciples as they grow in the Christian life. These ministries can range from helping a disciple enter into the life of the parish community to building the good habits of a Christian life.
  1. EquipCast 30: The Clear Path to Discipleship Steps 3 & 4
Evangelization Formation
Parish ministries with the explicit purpose of equipping disciples to engage in the mission of evangelization. Parishioners are encouraged to identify their charisms and to build a personal apostolate, serving the people they are most uniquely suited to.
  1. EquipCast 30: The Clear Path to Discipleship Steps 3 & 4
Each ministry has a clearly defined purpose and leaders know how their ministries fit into the Clear Path.
  1. Simon Sinek: Start with 'Why'- how to inspire change
  2. Managing Transition- how to help people through a change
  3. Overcommunicate Clarity by Patrick Lencioni
  4. Overcommunicate More Effectively

Culture of Generosity

The cultivation within the parish of thanksgiving to God for material and spiritual gifts and the expectation that these gifts are meant to be offered generously for the benefit of parishioners and the wider community.
Introduction to Stewardship
Stewardship is not a single action or program. It is an entire way of life. A way of Christian living where we come to know that all we have is a gift from God and we are invited to return those gifts with love to the Lord, our parish and our community. It is an integral component of a Culture of Generosity that generates from transformational encounters with Jesus and our continuous call to conversion. Therefore, we must be just as intentional about how we invite parishioners to stewardship as we are about sharing the Good News and making disciples.
US Bishops' Pastoral Letter
The US Bishops’ Pastoral Letter, Stewardship A Disciple’s Response, is the foundation for A Culture of Generosity. We believe a thorough understanding and application of this resource will yield spiritually vibrant and financially secure parishes, now, and in the years to come.  But one of the greatest challenges to achieving this goal lies in changing parishioners’ perception of stewardship, helping them move beyond "stewardship equals money," to "stewardship equals mission." This transformation happens over time through a long-term process, a conversion of mind and heart. Parishes that embrace stewardship conversion as a journey, taking one small step after the other, are able to achieve their goals. A plan that focuses on the spirituality and practice of stewardship in all its forms will strengthen your parish. As parishioners embrace stewardship as a way of life, they become truly joyful participants in building God's kingdom. Ministries grow, faith communities thrive, and Catholics fulfill their baptismal call and their individual need to give.
The Five Imperatives
The Five Imperatives to Create A Culture of Generosity provide tools and next steps to create, implement and plan towards A Culture of Generosity. You can find the manual here.
  • Leadership: Pages 8 – 22
  • Communication: Pages 23 – 48
  • Worship & Hospitality: Pages 49 – 71
  • Living Mercy: Pages 72 – 89
  • Invitation: See second manual
Prayer, Participation, and Generosity
A deeper understanding of how to foster an environment in which the sharing of prayer, participation and generosity is encouraged and deeply valued. You can find the manual and resources here.
  • Prayer. Invite parishioners to be generous with their time with Jesus by committing to communal and personal prayer (Sunday Mass, weekday Mass, Liturgy of the Hours, Advent & Lenten services, Eucharistic Adoration, Small Groups, Prayer Groups, scripture reading, meditation, and prayer time with the family).
  • Participation. Recognizing that God has a unique vocation for each one of us, unique charisms and talents for the building up of the Body of Christ, invite parishioners to exercise their call to holiness by participating in the mission of the parish.
  • Generosity. Giving prayer and participation (time and talent) does not excuse us from giving the first fruit of our livelihood, our financial gifts. Invite parishioners to consider the value of mercy, the worth of their worship and strive to instill a habit of giving that is planned, prioritized, percentage-based and progressive.