So I feel like I did it again… put an almost-criticism out in the universe without offering any real, practical solution.
How do we do that? Notice I said “we”. Everyone has to be part of the solution… it’s got to be a two-way give-and-take or it won’t work. Some thoughts…
- It would totally blow me away if your homily started with: “I heard this song on the radio that reminded me of today’s Gospel…” or “I was watching this movie the other day and I thought the main character was just like Jesus in the parable of…” Your words would completely unglue me if it was a song I knew or a movie I’d seen too… like one currently playing at the local theater. You would have my complete and undivided attention for whatever you might say next. If you continued on to tell me how that affected your life/faith/prayer/thoughts about God’s presence in the world, I might begin building a shrine in your honor.
- “Close your books class. Today we won’t be using them to study God’s mercy and compassion because the best way to understand suffering/reconciliation/redemption/resurrection is to use the textbook of your life. Let’s share our stories and learn from each other.” Has an alien taken over your body?
- Strategic Plan Priority #1: Inspire people to be disciples by engaging more deeply in the areas of ministry that they love… whether that be at their local parish, in the community soup kitchen, at their child’s school or in their own workplace. Acknowledge and affirm their big and small acts of discipleship and trust that the Holy Spirit is going to provide more ordinations, build stronger marriages and families, invigorate the faithful to greater presence in liturgy… and fill the hole in the bank account.
- Give me some balm for my broken spirit. There is so much out in the world that beats me down and wears me out. A current popular song asks a profound question: How many times can I break til I shatter? There are few places that offer me real sanctuary and I’m one of the lucky ones who have a strong support system of family, friends and faith that can hold me when I collapse. Practically, what does this look like? I don’t know… but if my church was the first place I thought to go/was a place I felt I could go… that might be half the battle toward healing.
- I have a computer and I’m not afraid to use it! Technology is here to stay… and probably Facebook is too. This is one of the wheels that would make the heavy cart much easier to use. Take advantage of the innovation of the human brain.
There are a bazillion and more ideas out there about how to be more innovative in ministry. Lay ’em on me friends!