Two Differentiation Ideas for Large Parishes
A friend of mine from a large parish in a revisionist diocese emailed me, chastising me for not offering many good differentiating ideas for large parishes. Below’s a bit of what I emailed her, slightly edited.
RE: differentiation for large significant parishes like yours.
I’ll tell you what, I’ve held back—got a couple of cards “close to my vest.” It seems to me that a parish like yours in a hostile revisionist diocese could do two big things that would both *strengthen* and *differentiate*.
The big one is . . . I think you could very well decide to become a sort of regional discipleship hub for that diocese and geography. I could see your parish holding big discipleship events with great speakers [like Tim Keller, for instance] . . . in an effort to disciple and evangelize Episcopalians in the pews, from all over. I’d ally myself with other denominations to become such a center as well—with invitations to everyone to come. Such speakers on the one hand wouldn’t be political—but on the other hand, the revisionist activists would hate them because they teach the gospel. ; > )
The more publicity and outreach and training and magnificent events you hold, the more *your parish* becomes the hub rather than the ineffective diocesan house. And the more you become the hub, the more power you accrue. It’s mighty hard to go after a parish that has that kind of clout, and is also staying in TEC.
Ultimately . . . you’d snatch the *leadership vision* right out of the paws of the bishop and the diocesan house. Your parish would be the de facto leader even if it did not have that title.
The other thing I’d do on a smaller level is . . . go through your laypeople and think through which ones are 1) informed, 2) thoughtful, 3) orthodox, 4) strategic, 5) trustworthy, and 6) active [all of those are tough ones to find, much less bring together]. There might be a score or more of people like that.
And I’d focus on them with strategic workshops and training on how to survive and perhaps even thrive in a hostile organization like your diocese.
. . . It’s in-depth stuff, and only for people who are completely trustworthy.
One person I’d bring in for this kind of workshop/training is [edited].
Anyway—those are two of my ideas for large parishes.
Share this story:
Recent Related Posts
Are you reading this?
Advertising on Stand Firm works!
Click here for details.