See our main About page for a broader introduction to the Gospel Living approach. Here we offer our perspective on faith, the Gospel, discipleship, and more.
Our approach is first and foremost rooted in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures. We focus on the major values and themes woven through all of Scripture, which best direct us to live the Gospel.
It is not possible to live as authentic disciples without a personal relationship with Jesus Christ that continually converts us to live out the Good News.
We have a Roman Catholic perspective and utilize the extensive teachings and tools the Church has to offer. We cannot succeed as disciples alone, and it is essential that we gather as a Church to support each other in our common mission.
Our Protestant brother and sisters have a lot of experience and wisdom to share about living as disciples. Others working in the secular realm provide excellent insights and tools helpful in bringing about the Kingdom of God. We seek to actively learn from and collaborate with those who can support us in fulfilling the mission of the Church.
How We Understand the Gospel Message
The vision of the Kingdom of God and Gospel message offers us a whole way of life and worldview. It is not something we can keep segregated from any part of our lives.
The Gospel is Good News because it's a better way to live -- and not just in deferred heavenly gratification, but in this world! It's so compelling we can't help from sharing. We're not about creating grumpy, deprived disciples but ones who are fulfilled and truly free.
Jesus and the Prophets were not timid, and neither are we. The Gospel message is intensely counter-cultural and provocative, especially when read from a First World perspective.
How We Understand Discipleship
We seek to form disciples who live their lives actively, purposefully, and intentionally. Gospel living makes God and Gospel values our priority, so they can direct all aspects of our lives.
An intentional disciple is centered in prayer and a personal relationship with God. This is the inner basis for our ongoing conversion.
Information is not enough. Disciples need practical tools and support for living and sustaining a Gospel-based life.
Disciples need to understand core Gospel values before they can apply them to their lives. The parish has a responsibility to teach.
It is essential to connect the dots between Scripture and the specifics of daily life, rather than dealing with abstracts and "spiritualized" interpretations that let us off the hook.
How We Understand Sharing Our Faith
Many approach the Church and the Gospel with skepticism. Many would be shocked to learn how compatible their values are with the Church, and how helpful the Church could be in supporting them. When we share our faith, we need to begin with our common ground.
Many Ways to Christ
People are drawn to Christ for different reasons. While some may be drawn to Gregorian chant, others may be drawn to contemporary worship music, the Church's social teaching, or a hospitable community. Don't assume everyone is drawn for the same reasons you are.
We need to look at our Church through the eyes of a seeker, and consider the obstacles that keep people from the Church. This is a challenge at all levels, from the individual parishioner through the diocesan level.
Start With Ourselves
Evangelization starts with our own ongoing conversion and struggle to live authentic lives of witness. Outreach efforts will no be effective if current parishioners are not living as intentional disciples and/or the parish is not supporting them in that work.
Our Challenge To Parishes
To become an evangelizing community, a parish as an institution must experience a conversion. The Church's mission is not a program, but the purpose that should drive every decision and activity in your parish.
Move Beyond Maintenance
The biggest challenge for many parishes is to let go of a maintenance mindset that keeps them trapped focused on details that are not core to their mission. In order to focus on mission, you will need to let some things go.
Parishes can learn some lessons from entrepreneurs, on how an organization can be dynamic, creative, and relentlessly focused on a mission. Be passionate! Shake things up! Reclaim the evangelical spirit of the early Church!
Goals For Parishes
Proclaim the Mission
Clearly articulate and consistently communicate the mission of the Church (and parish). Ensure everyone in the parish understands its purpose and their role in it.
Equip for Discipleship
Provide practical tools to support ministry in the world, including those around discernment and call. These These give a framework to approach ministry in daily life.
Preach Gospel Values
Provide basic literacy of core themes in Scripture and Tradition that inform discipleship. Offer the context that makes individual Scripture readings more meaningful.
Orient Parish Life Around Mission
Apply Gospel values to all aspects of the parish, from ministries to administration. Shift the emphasis from an internal maintenance mindset to mission in the world.
Connect With Daily Life
Identify the connections between Gospel values and the specifics of daily life. Reinforce how our faith informs everything from our occupation to spending money.