Why Pastoral Planning?
If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there! When the fog level rises, we drive more slowly and our horizons shorten! Without a vision the people perish!
In spite of these warnings about life in general, most people tend to make things up as they go along.
Then we wonder why things end up in confusion. Even with a lot of desire, energy and motivation, without clear direction and vision, a person, a family, an organization and a parish can be all dressed up with nowhere to go.
In the Diocese of Greensburg pastoral planning is a way of:
- Making sure that no important element of pastoral life (seven elements) is inadvertently overlooked.
- Ensuring that the future will not come as a thief in the night.
- Avoiding waste and duplication, modeling good stewardship.
- Judging the importance and urgency of ministries and the right order for carrying them out.
- Deciding what is to be done this year and in the next three to five years.
- Ensuring that existing programs, organizations and committees are continually evaluated and adjusted to respond to the mission.
- Identifying the resources.
- Connecting the mission and goals of the region/parish to the mission and goals of the diocese.
- Lastly, and most importantly, involving the people of God on a regular basis in the continuing search for a more effective response to God’s will.
Because the world is changing so quickly, there is often a feeling of fragmentation. Church life also is a victim of this reality.
Pastoral plans can provide a rootedness grounded in the mission of Christ. The pastoral plan becomes the sign of wholeness in a fragmented world.
Utilizing effective tools from leadership and management sciences, pastoral planning adds the dimension of prayerful discernment, reflection on Gospel values and awareness of the church’s history and tradition. Pastoral planning, therefore, is always mission-motivated.