Sherry Weddell's wake-up call to the Catholic Church in the United States has struck a chord.
In her popular book, she points us to the disturbing trends, including a dramatic drop in the number of practicing Catholics and marriages in the Church. She then identifies the core problem, that few Catholics—including those practicing and in leadership positions—have a personal relationship with God that has led them to intentional discipleship. Every parish leader should read what Sherry has to say and understand how to lead people through the thresholds of conversion.
This series includes Sherry's initial book and a companion study guide (both available in English and Spanish), as well as the new Becoming a Parish of Intentional Disciples with insights from additional leaders embracing this approach. See all books in this series here.
How can we transmit a living, personal Catholic faith to future generations? By coming to know Jesus Christ, and following him as his disciples.
These are times of immense challenge and immense opportunity for the Catholic Church.
Consider these statistics for the United States.
- Only 30 percent of Americans who were raised Catholic are still practicing.
- Fully 10 percent of all adults in America are ex-Catholics.
- The number of marriages celebrated in the Church decreased dramatically, by nearly 60 percent, between 1972 and 2010.
- Only 60 percent of Catholics believe in a personal God.
If the Church is to reverse these trends, the evangelizers must first be evangelized-in other words, Catholics-in-the-pew must make a conscious choice to know and follow Jesus before they can draw others to him. This work of discipleship lies at the heart of Forming Intentional Disciples, a book designed to help Church leaders, parish staff and all Catholics transform parish life from within. Drawing upon her fifteen years of experience with the Catherine of Siena Institute, Sherry Weddell leads readers through steps that will help Catholics enter more deeply into a relationship with God and the river of apostolic creativity, charisms, and vocation that flow from that relationship for the sake of the Church and the world.
Learn about the five thresholds of postmodern conversion, how to open a conversation about faith and belief, how to ask thought-provoking questions and establish an atmosphere of trust, when to tell the Great Story of Jesus, how to help someone respond to God's call to intentional discipleship, and much more.
And be prepared for conversion because when life at the parish level changes, the life of the whole Church will change.
Spanish edition and companion study guides also available.
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