MinistryPlatform is the right system at the right time to support and enable the vision our leaders have set forth for us. Here’s why:
Responding to change
The startling headline of the 2019 Pew research study was one of the turning points: “Just one-third of Catholics agree with their Church that Eucharist is the body, blood of Christ.” Mass attendance and sacraments have declined for decades. And then Covid broke our last-remaining habits, the last vestiges of our Christendom mindset. In the wake of all this, our leaders are responding with action! Under the guidance of Bishop Cozzens and other able leaders, we are in the midst of a national Eucharistic revival. Our local bishops and archbishops are expanding ministry and challenging us to missionary discipleship while addressing the challenges of diocesan and parish structure head-on.
“Christ has no body now on earth but yours, no hands, no feet but yours…”
St Teresa of Avila
So what does any of this have to do with software? We need systems that equip and support our efforts. These are times of change as the Catholic church responds to minister today and into the future. We are thrust out of the “factory” we have created for sacrament processes and our habit of repeating similar programs yearly. People no longer come to Mass because it is expected of them. And we have not fully embraced how to build our parish communities virtually. The message of the Gospel is more important and needed than ever, but people aren’t all in one place to hear it.
Our challenge is bigger and more complex now. As St. Teresa says, it’s up to each of us. We each are His eyes, hands, and feet on Earth. We are tasked to do more with the same or fewer people. To go out, rather than wait for people to come to us. Find ways to minister personally. Software and specifically MinistryPlatform, can help us extend our ministry and can alert us to the times to connect personally.
MinistryPlatform supports and enables
Parish software and the related software for the diocese can enable or impede the changes we are trying to effect. MinistryPlatform is designed to make it possible to support the structure (and changes to structure) you need: a diocese and all parishes, clusters or families of parishes, other organizations, and individual parishes. The system is simple and efficient for managing core parish functions. At the same time, the system has powerful additional functionality. If parish or diocesan staff wants to do more, there is a function for professional communications, group management, personal care, notifications, and workflow (with even more capability when you also use the diocesan app and a ministry pathway resource called Growth Method!). Dioceses such as Pensacola-Tallahassee and the Archdiocese of Baltimore are examples of dioceses beginning to enable the powerful functions of the system.
The video features how the Church of the Nativity in Timonium, Maryland uses MinistryPlatform both as a database and as a tool for communication, invitation, and evangelization. Nativity is an example of a parish using the power of MinistryPlatform. The church leadership uses the capabilities of the system to extend their “eyes, hands and feet”, including identifying and welcoming visitors, detecting changes that denote a need for personal care, and knowing when to invite a person into a deeper relationship. Other parishes, such as St. Joseph’s in Shawnee, KS, and Holy Martyrs in Medina, OH, are examples of using MinistryPlatform to expand ministry with limited staff.
I am filled with hope for our Catholic Church in the United States. MinistryPlatform is the right system at the right time! It will support and enable the vision our leaders have set forth for us. The system facilitates a shift from recording and reporting information to enable ministry. And more. Personal ministry invites and inspires people to be part of the mystical beauty of the Catholic faith.
Terry Poplava is a multi-disciplined executive with extensive sales, product marketing, strategy and leadership experience in supporting faith organizations. Terry’s professional experience includes organizational leadership, corporate development and growth, consulting with and training church leaders, and leading strategic and priority planning for churches and dioceses. He currently serves on the advisory board for the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche in St. Augustine FL, as cantor at St. Andrew parish in Myrtle Beach, SC. and recently as Chairman of the Finance Council at St. Mary the Virgin Mother parish in Hartsville, SC.