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Yearly Parish Planning in the Face of Uncertainty

Colleen Little
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Culture is constantly changing and evolving. It means every year brings with it new challenges, new joys, and new unknowns.

While there are a lot of unknowns, there are also a lot of things we do know. 

One of those is that technology is becoming a far more integrated part of our culture than ever before. 

“The notion of a tipping point for technology adoption or digital disruption isn’t new, but [data] suggests that the COVID-19 crisis is a tipping point of historic proportions—and that more changes will be required as the economic and human situation evolves.”  Mckinsey & Company, 2020 Survey

This means that our regular reliance on technology for things like communication, research, directions, and more has only been accelerated by this pandemic. In other words, we’re not going to go “back to normal” with technology but it will only become more integrated with our lives.

We also know people’s emotional, mental, and physical needs have increased in fluctuating pandemic times. In a Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey, it showed that adults with symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder increased from 10% to 40% in the U.S. 

So how does that impact the Church? As we move towards knowing and understanding our people better in a changing world, we can use this as a way to love them deeper. Here are two ways you can set up your parish to love your people well.

Run ministry around needs and not just life stage

As much as ministry for single moms, families, widows, teens, etc. is incredibly important, there are other markers in someone’s life that we should also get some attention. How are we meeting the needs of new pandemic anxiety? Of feeling disconnected from our community after a few years of varied social distancing? 

Try offering opportunities for people that meet those needs like how to manage anxiety with a local counsellor. 

Digital & in-person events

When 2020 amplified the tech craze, with it came a new dynamic to navigate—a social culture that is deeply embedded both in real life and in the digital world. While there are pros and cons to each new way we progress, it has opened up new opportunities to reach people. Think of the parents who can’t get babysitting but can still come to virtual events. Think of the elderly couple who can attend without worrying about transportation. Think of those who have moved or are not close to a community and can now connect because of virtual events. 

Try offering both in-person and virtual options. You can also offer a mix during recurring events so as to get a little bit of both.

interested in learning how the team at Tilma can help you meet these goals? We'd love to talk with you. Schedule a call here.

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