So you just completed your Christmas liturgies, one of the two biggest and busiest times of the year at your parish. It was special to be sure, putting your best foot forward to make a great experience both for your regulars and for the hundreds of people you might only see once or twice a year. Hopefully, you saw it as a way to get those twice-a-year folks back next week and God willing, all year long. A superb opportunity for evangelization!
Maybe you did some out-of-the-ordinary things like having parishioners there to help with parking, or to open the doors and greet people. Was there exceptional music, or a really excellent, relevant homily? Was there child care and a special children’s program? Probably people were commenting on how wonderful it all was afterward.
Maybe you’re thinking, “That’s a lot of work even twice year. How could we possibly do that every weekend?” Fair enough. But, are there one or two of these things you could incorporate into your regular weekend? This is also the time for New Year’s resolutions. Is this the year to start an outstanding fellowship that keeps people there after Mass? Or maybe this is the year you start small faith sharing groups.
We all know the saying, “You only get one chance to make a first impression.” Maybe John and Jane Doe and their family didn’t come to Christmas liturgy, but they’re coming next week as part of their New Year’s resolution to attend Mass regularly. Or perhaps they’re coming in June because they’re new to the area, or they’re coming in October because they’re just searching for a church and a place to belong.
So, what if every weekend at your parish were like Christmas? What if there was always help with parking, or folks there to open the doors and greet people? What if there were exceptional music and a really excellent, relevant homily every weekend that drew people to liturgy? What if there was child care and a children’s program that attracted families?
As evangelists, we want to give them our best every week, because when they do come, and they will, we want them to keep coming back so they can know how much Jesus Christ loves them, and wants them to know Him. We want them to have an ongoing relationship with the living God, joining us on the path to discipleship. So as much as we possibly can, why not make every weekend like Christmas?
What are your parish’s New Year’s disciple-making resolutions?