Who are your most active parishioners?
Probably not your young couples.
Sure, they come to Mass on the weekends. But beyond that?
It takes all ages to make a community thrive. If you can tap into young couples’ energy and enthusiasm, you’ll stir up new life in your parish.
At the end of this post, you’ll find some resources for you and other parish leaders to get the ball rolling. But first, here are a few things to remember.
1. Be mindful of their schedules.
Your schedule doesn’t coincide with an average couple’s schedule. Consider this: you announce, “We’re having a Bible study at 6:30 on Wednesdays!” That’s when most couples are getting home from work. They’re tired and they need to make dinner. They may also have little kids to take care of. If there was ever a time for them to come to a Bible study… it’s not that time.
That’s why shorter, one-time events usually work well. For example: want to have a retreat? Try one that’s just a Saturday morning.
2. Listen to what they’re asking.
Some ministry leaders make the mistake of their spending time and energy answering questions people aren’t actually asking. That doesn’t mean they aren’t asking questions, though. Are you listening?
Perhaps your couples want to explore some basic questions about faith. Or they struggle to understand a moral teaching of the Church. Or maybe they simply crave some time and space to pray.
Whatever it is, focus on that in your programs. People make an effort to attend what they feel speaks directly to their questions or needs.
3. Start with connection.
Today’s young couples crave a sense of belonging. You might think people get involved at the parish in order to feel connected, but actually people tend to get more involved after they feel connected.
Retreats are a good example of this. Ever notice how people get more involved after they make a retreat? It’s because they’ve experienced a new sense of connection with others. This inspires them to do more at the parish, to keep that connection going.
Here are some resources to help you foster these connections.
A retreat designed specifically for Catholic parishes. The comprehensive guide covers every step in forming your retreat team, planning the weekend, putting on the retreat itself and growing a community of faith.
Couples, Awaken Your Love!
You could use this book as a basis for giving retreat talks to couples during a Saturday morning or weekend program.
This easy-to-watch series explores the big questions about life, God and faith that most people wonder about but don’t get the chance to talk about. It’s designed to be watched in a relaxed setting with food or snacks. An excellent gateway for couples to get more involved at your parish.