fewer mission statements and more mission work

An Advent Journey with Pope Francis and Evangelii Gaudium, Part 9

“Mere administration” can no longer be enough. Throughout the world, let us be “permanently in a state of mission.” (Evangelii Gaudium, 25)

OK…hands up if you’ve ever answered the call to give of your time and talents to parish life. Have you ever sat on a pastoral or diocesan committee? Have you belonged to a church based organization or movement?

Next question. If you answered yes to any of the above, how many hours have you spent in meetings…in discussing strategies…finances…budgets….minutes….recruiting drives….

All good works require some organization and administration. Sadly, we can easily lose site of our goals amid mountains of paperwork. We give more importance to task-filled agendas than simple relationship forming and community building. We spend more energies on marketing and nice sounding mission statements than being actual missionaries.

We cannot underestimate the radical nature of Evangelii Gaudium. Francis is warning us that expending too much effort on ecclesial structures can “hamper efforts at evangelization.” We are being called to advance “along a path of a pastoral and missionary conversion.” This is a major paradigm shift, one that requires a deep reform

What would your particular ministry in the church look like if it was truly driven by a “new life” and an “authentic evangelical spirit”?