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4. Effective Planning Is Rooted in the Teachings of Our

Faith and Supported by Foundational Pastoral Practices

The content and substance of ministries, activities, and programs should

be based in the Church’s

teaching and tradition. The theological summary

provided in Part I is a key resource upon which to base

pastoral planning

for evangelization.

When pastoral leaders begin to work through a planning process for

evangelization, they should

first consider the review of current pastoral

practice, and use this review to define areas of the parish ministry that are

successful and areas that may need additional focus or attention.

5. Effective Planning for Ministry Engages and

Inspires People Through a Culture of Encounter

and Accompaniment, Building Strong and

Trusting Relationships


Pope Francis has consistently called the Church to live within a culture

of encounter. In his message to the bishops of Latin America, he said

that “two pastoral categories stand out; they

arise from the uniqueness of

the Gospel, and we can employ them as guidelines for assessing how we

are living missionary discipleship in the Church:

nearness and encounter


Neither of these two categories is new; rather, they are the way God has

revealed himself to us in history.”


Pope Francis continued, recalling that

pastoral plans that do not take account of these dimensions “can at best

provide a dimension of

proselytism, but they can never inspire people to

feel part of, or belong to, the Church.” Following on

the wisdom of Pope

Francis, practices are listed below that

speak of effective ministerial rela-

tionships and engagement practices that integrate a “culture of encounter”

and the development of missionary disciples. Selecting one or two areas to

focus on is often more effective

than trying to improve many areas at once,

and your parish may choose one of these areas to focus on in

the next year

or two of your parish plan.

Engaging Others Through Christian Witness in Everyday Life

Being a witness to Christ includes not only proclaiming the Gospel but

also sharing one’s personal

conversion story, participating in the prayer life

of the Church, and living the Gospel in all areas of one’s

life and work.