Church of the Nativity in Timonium, Maryland, may be best known for the leadership of its pastor, Fr. Michael White, and his staff leader, Tom Corcoran. They set forth a vision for the New Evangelization at Church of the Nativity through their first book, Rebuilt, published in 2013. In the book, Corcoran and White share their experience as they shift their parish culture to embrace our mission to “go forth and make disciples of all men” (Mt 28). Since that time, the parish has become a thriving community, and “Rebuilt Parish” has become a separate consultancy for parishes around the United States. But in 2013, the staff at Church of the Nativity had to turn the ideas of Rebuilt into ongoing operations.
The challenge to implement the holistic vision was daunting because the staff was operating the parish in multiple systems with disjointed information, with no easy way to see who was a new visitor to the parish. As they focused intensely on welcoming the community, and on an excellent Sunday celebration, the staff needed to be able to make sure parishioners and visitors have a transformative Mass experience and to know more about who was visiting. They needed technology to provide them with the information that guided them on where to adapt their ministry to accompany the people. The staff saw that MinistryPlatform could provide core operational support plus the functions to engage more personally with parishioners and visitors.
Hollern and the parish staff say MinistryPlatform is the strategic tool for today and the future. Fr. White and the leadership team define priorities so they maintain their focus on what it means for a parishioner to be engaged in their faith. MinistryPlatform provides the information and tools to know when to reach out personally to a family to offer prayer and support, who to thank for visiting and invite them to be part of a small group, and see if their ministry is engaging parishioners more deeply.
The results are compelling. The number of parishioner participants is up 9% in 2022, small group participation is up 39%, giving is up almost 7%. These numbers and others are updated throughout each day from MinistryPlatform to parish staff digital dashboards. The information keeps the staff informed and focused on bringing people into a relationship with Christ.
MinistryPlatform has been so effective for the Church of the Nativity, it has been adopted by the entire Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore which comprises the City of Baltimore and nine of the state’s 23 counties.