Rebuilt Resources: Appendix A Detailed Example of Changing Our Culture

What was Christmas Eve Mass like in your parish last year? Packed, right? Stressful? As early as possible? Like Nativity, it was probably just a terrible experience for everyone.

Fr. Michael wanted to try something different at the Church of the Nativity. He moved Christmas Eve mass to the state fair grounds. In Appendix A, Michael and Tom explain how they responded to the overwhelming criticism of the decision and made it one of their most revered traditions.

The point isn’t Christmas Eve, it’s about effecting cultural change.

Listen to Bob, Joe, and Brian discuss changing the culture of Christmas.

You Can Do This: Changing Culture

If you have responsibility in your parish for anything, and it’s not going well:

  • Acknowledge what is not working. Discontent and frustration can give birth to new ideas.
  • Think differently; apply yourself creatively to the problem. When brainstorming, no idea is a bad one. That doesn’t mean that there are no bad ideas. Clearly there are, but don’t kill an idea too quickly before it’s completely studied and discussed. Through prayer and honest internal discussion, make sure the idea isn’t just your impulse or your will; make sure it’s a God thing.
  • Share your idea in a small but growing circle and get them to invest; in fact, make them the leaders and the sales force for your cultural change.
  • Be collaborative, be inclusive, and show care for people’s emotions in the face of change. But don’t let the critics and the naysayers slow you down, and don’t compromise your idea to accommodate them either, even when there is a financial cost.
  • Create a sense of movement. Get people to see the change as a mission connected to the great big mission of Christ’s Church. It’s a movement . . . that means sometimes it’s got to MOVE!