A Call to More: Have We Become Complacent? with Fr. Aaron Nord
Today’s episode features a presentation from Fr. Aaron Nord, pastor and Adjutant Judicial Vicar for the Archdiocese of St. Louis. This talk was part of the October 2021 STL Gathering of youth ministers. Fr. Nord spoke to lay ecclesial ministers and asked, have we become complacent in ministry?
1. Complacency in Our Personal Lives; Rule Zero
Relevant questions to reject complacency in our personal life:
- Do I do in my life what I encourage teens to do in their life?
- Do I practice what I preach?
- What was the last resolution I made to be a better Christian?
- What happened with that resolution?
- Does my free time make me stronger for ministry, or weaker?
- What is my next step in discipleship?
- Lord, what do you think about how I’m living?
How we can help ourselves have more awareness and improvement?
- Examen prayer
- Regular confession
- Spiritual direction
- Retreat days / Days of recollection
2. Complacency in Ministry; What is a 10?
Relevant questions to reject complacency in ministry
- Are teen in my parish growing spiritually?
- Are my core YM activities drawing more teens than 6 mo ago?
- If there isn’t growth, what is keeping us from growing?
- If there is growth, what is my succession plan for next year of teens? For when my best volunteers move on to next stage in life? For when my pastor move on to next stage in life? For when God calls me to what’s next?
- Who does this better than we do and what I can learn from them?
- Who is succeeding right now in YM and what’s the story of how they got there?
- What is the vision for YM in my parish, that possible and better future that God is leading us towards 2-5 years from now?
How we can have more awareness and improvement?
- New YM: write down all the stuff that is lame, bad, or broke
- Be real about what’s not working; write it or better, find someone to talk it through.
- Get off the tracks! Freight train of activities, events, crises. You need time out of office and routine to look at big relevant Q.
- Find God’s vision for your ministry in your parish.
3. Complacency in Teams; What’s Not Working
1 Samuel 2:12-13a, 22-24, 29, 31; 3:11-14, 18; 4:10-11, 17-18.
Relevant questions to reject complacency in teams
- What matters most in my parish right now?
- How much do I trust my team? How real can they be with me?
- If I asked for help or said I was struggling, what would happen?
- When was the last time we had a conflict about something that mattered and came to a relevant, wise resolution?
- If the Holy Spirit inspired someone on my team with a fantastic idea for our parish, and idea that would make a huge difference for us, what’s the probability that we would notice, get excited, and actually execute that idea?
- What would make us work better as a team?
- What would make us more receptive to the Holy Spirit’s direction and help?
How can you help your team have awareness and improvement?
- This really is hard, esp. if not in charge.
- Ask relevant questions