Want more engaged parishioners?

By Fr. Jeff Lorig, Director of Pastoral Services

Perhaps one of the things we hear consistently from parish leaders is a desire for more engaged parishioners. What’s ironic is that while parish leaders wish more parishioners would be more engaged, parishioners wish their parish would offer more meaningful ways for them to be engaged. Somewhere in this ever-shifting culture there appears to be a real disconnect. Pastors want more engaged members and members crave ways to be more engaged.

The Fine Print

When you read the fine print of the Pastoral Vision and Priorities you’ll notice the motive behind the unity priority has less to do with tackling the felt and sometimes real divisions between different entities within the Church and has more to do with the Church, the People of God, longing for a sense of belonging. What the listening sessions told us and what the Archbishop’s Envisioning Team discerned is that the Church desires to be on mission together as ONE. People want to be engaged in the mission and leaders have to find ways to engage them.

Check this out. Here’s the rationale that was published for unity priority.

By this we mean that we might all be one Church united with Jesus and in relationship with each other in a shared vision called to use our unique strengths and gifts to achieve Christ’s mission.

We want to fulfill Jesus desire that all His followers be one. The data gathered in the focus group and listening sessions showed that many of our people desire a greater sense of belonging.

That’s all nice, but where do you even begin?

Time to Roll it Out

One of the goals of the Pastoral Vision under the Unity priority states, “Based on the roll out of an assessment tool, begin the implementation of a plan that will increase a culture of unity and belonging within parishes and the archdiocese.”

I’m happy and excited to announce that the assessment tool is ready to be rolled out and the Archdiocese is ready to help you implement a plan!

The Pastoral Services of the Archdiocese of Omaha is now ready and equipped to help equip you, pastors and parish leaders, to administer a Gallup tool called the ME25 Member Engagement Survey in your parish. What I love about the ME25 is that it’s not just a survey, it’s all about the actions you take after the results are in. The ME25 is designed to be actionable, not just interesting.

We’re Here to Help

Learn  More  About  the ME25

  • Here’s a link you can check out. Or….
  • I’ll give you the book, Growing an Engaged Church, for free. Just email me – jplorig@archomaha.org (while supplies and budget last). Or…
  • I’d love to speak to you, your leadership team, or parish council in person about the ME25.

Take the Next Step

If you are interested in administering the ME25 in your parish, Gallup has done a good job of spelling things out so that a parish could easily pull this off on its own. However, it can still be a daunting project especially if you don’t have much staff. In that case,  someone from Pastoral Services of the Archdiocese would be privileged to act as a ME25 consultant to your parish. As consultants we would first speak to the pastor, then the leadership team or parish council about the ME25. We’d walk you through the process, roles, and timeline as well as explain the whys and benefits of the ME25. Once a timeline is set and the roles established, the next step would be to help you create and implement a communication plan. After the survey is closed and the results are in, we will do a deep dive analysis of the results, prepare and make a presentation for the parish in a town hall setting (or parish council meeting), and then make recommendations for an action plan based on the results and priorities of the parish.

Let us know how we can help.

Fr. Jeff Lorig can be reached by email at jplorig@archomaha.org or phone at 402.558.3100 ext. 3052.

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