St. John Nepomuk Evangelization and Discipleship Strategy
St. John Nepomuk is a parish in the Archdiocese of Oklahoma. Since 2014, the parish has been engaged in a fruitful Discipleship Process initiated by the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City Office of Parish Leadership Engagement. See details below.
Since 2014, St. John Nepomuk has been engaged in a Discipleship Process initiated by the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City Office of Parish Leadership Engagement. Carol from Archdiocese led 4 pilot small groups in one year using CCO Faith Studies. 1 in evening and rest during the day. Two members of the St. John Nepomuk community were among the first cohort of leaders formed by the Archdiocese of Oklahoma. After participating in the archdiocesan small group, these individuals went back to their parish and spent two years forming leaders who could eventually make the process available to the whole parish.
At St. John Nepomuk, all adults in the parish are invited into the discipleship process which is organized into small groups for men and small groups for women. Members for the first groups were specifically chosen…those who could be future leaders. Criteria included 1) F.A.C.T. – Faithful, Available (not involved in any other ministry), Contagious, Teachable, and 2) RCIA sponsors were good candidates; already liked accompanying others.
The process at the parish mirrored what the archdiocese did. It began as follows: Ten leaders were selected to participate in the CCO faith studies, which consist of five 6-week studies. The next year, they got 25 new leaders and repeated the process. In the third year, they opened it up to the whole parish. Participants were asked to commit only to the first study. After that they were invited to decided if they wanted to proceed. This parish preferred to do gender specific groups rather than married couples. They asked participants to pay for books - $12-13. No additional leadership formation was provided; going through the study themselves was enough to get them going.
The parish created a video to explain the process. It can be accessed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CM2i92kfns&feature=youtu.be
Successful execution of this process involves 7 points: getting the right leaders, getting leaders to prioritize this effort, manage parish expectations, meet offsite and begin by filling groups with potential leaders.
The parish, as a whole, has been transformed by this process. For those who have participated in the process, Jesus has become the center of their lives. Their relationships with each other and with the Lord are flourishing and they have a desire to grow. Their prayer life has grown deeper as a result of the discipleship process. They have also been strengthened in their baptismal identity. The process has also helped them to be able to share God’s message and defend the faith.