The Difference Between Stewardship and Development

There are at least 3 new year celebrations throughout the year that most of us celebrate – the calendar new year, the Church’s new year (which begins on the First Sunday of Advent), while our Jewish brothers and sisters celebrate their new year on Rosh Hashanah, and the start of the fiscal year, which, for…

Revenue Management: It’s Not Just About Income and Expenses

In writing advancement articles for schools, administrators seem to take sides – is the faith-based school a business, or is it a ministry?  Recent articles have been written to say that it’s BOTH – just as Jesus was both true God and true man. In the spirit of “Next Practices,” I suggest that it’s not…

Initiation: Discernment Causes a Change in Plans

When my wife and I were preparing for marriage, our Catholic Engaged Encounter weekend experience made us realize there were five steps to making a decision: Prayer, Discernment, Mutual Decision, Mutual Responsibility, and Openness to Change. That’s not only a good process for marriage, that’s a good process for any kind of decision…especially the openness…

Fellowship: Nights of Praise and Adoration

Later this month, the Catholic community will celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, which emphasizes the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.  When I was a small boy, my mom took me to church in the afternoon on this Sunday when it was called the Feast of Corpus…

Evangelization is Marketing

Next week, we’ll celebrate the feast of Pentecost, the day the Apostles received the Holy Spirit, and emerged from their locked upper room to spread the Good News throughout the world.  As the song from the Dameans in 1969 told us, “Tell the world a mighty wind has blown!” Over 50 years later…and we still…

The FIRES Framework

This is the 5th of 5 postings that set up the necessary systems framework so that parishes can either grow or, if they are currently growing, be able to manage that growth. Last week’s entry provided an introduction to systems thinking, since we have been conditioned from the time that we began school to think…