Parish Newsletter

A Service of the Parish Evaluation Project

Milwaukee, Wisconsin



April, 2008


It’s All About Finding The Right People:

On February 28, 2008, a group of pastors and their administrators, twenty-five in all, gathered in Anaheim, CA.  This was no ordinary group of people.  Each one belonged to a parish that had participated in the Parish Assessment and Renewal (PAR) process and were committed to working in partnership with one another.  The purpose of the gathering was to share their experience and to raise common issues and concerns.  One that surfaced was finding people to staff new committees proposed by the commissions.


Staffing the Committees:

Part of the job of a commission, whether Worship, Community Life, Formation, Outreach or Administration, is to construct one, two and three-year goals.  The implementation of these goals, however, belongs not to the commissions but to existing parish committees and ministries.  If these are not equipped to handle the task then new committees need to be formed.  The commissions begin the process of forming committees by constructing a job description of what the committee is expected to accomplish and a timeline for implementation.  It is also up to the commission to locate people to make up the committee, starting with two competent co-chairs to get it started.  Some examples of new committees that might need to be formed include communications, newcomers, volunteer coordination, young adults, inactive parishioners.  But where can the commission find qualified, motivated people who will translate a particular goal into action?


Possible Options For Locating New Committee Members:

  • During the “Two-minute Report” period at the end of a Leadership Night, hand out index cards to all the others present.  Explain the type of persons you are looking for and ask them to put down one or two names of likely candidates.  Do the same with the staff at their next meeting.
  • When commission members link with their ministry or group each month, ask the contact person to solicit from their ministers or members the names of likely candidates for this new committee.  If a new committee, for instance, is to organize greeters at all the Masses, then the head lector is asked to solicit names for this new Greeters Committee from all the lectors.
  • The weekend liturgy is where most people come in contact with the parish.  Use this as a resource.  A young person might make an announcement at the end of Mass that a new Young Adults group is being formed and there is a need for an organizing committee.  The person then refers to a card in the pew that asks for the name of a family member or friend who fits the description of a committee member.  The cards are collected as people leave church.  If they need more time, they are encouraged to take the card home to think it over and call the contact person with the name.
  • Newcomers, those completing RCIA, spouses or family members of those already involved are likely groups to tap for names.  The Outreach Commission might be forming a committee for contacting inactive parishioners.  Commission members, with a one-page job description in hand,  make personal visits to the RCIA gathering following Easter, or to the monthly Women’s Club or K of C’s meeting, or the bi-monthly Wine and Cheese Gathering for newcomers.  The commission members would make a brief request for names from among those present.  Once all the names are collected, it is up to the commission to do the contacting, always looking for possible co-chairs to lead the group, as well as other committee members.