It is better to have a Church that is wounded but out in the streets than a Church that is sick because it is closed in on itself. – Pope Francis

A colleague once reminded me that 75% of the time his parish is in “maintenance mode.”  This means that they’ve established programs like religious ed for kids, marriage prep and the regular Sunday liturgy schedule.  The other 25% at best allows for a “looking outward” to see how we might engage with the world.

This needs to be reversed according to the Pope.  We cannot merely be focused on our parish programs and administration.  We need to look outward 75% of the time and then 25% should focus on maintaining the programs we have.  Easier said than done–and I know I do a pretty bad job of this most days.  I can get caught up with the stuff of routine and not give much thought to evangelization and engagement with the margins.

So what are some ideas about doing this?  What have you done to try to stay out of maintenance mode in ministry?

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