Dr. Bob McCarty: Changing Territory

We need to change our maps.

“One of the things that has become really clear in this symposium on lay ecclesial ministry is that the territory in which we do ministry is changing rapidly… What this is going to require of us in ministry is that we need to change our ministerial maps.”

Dr. Bob McCarty
Executive Director
National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry

As one of the co-sponsors of the LEM Symposium, the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry brings a wealth of research data to the discussion of the religious / cultural / sociological landscape from the ongoing National Study of Youth and Religion.

In combination with the statistics and conclusions presented by Dr. Ammerman in the opening keynote address, we gain a deeper glimpse into the practical implications and challenges facing lay ecclesial ministry in the coming years.

Engagement and Emotional Connection

In this video clip, Bob discusses research findings from the Pew Forum, Gallup Poll and the National Study on Youth Religion.  Some of the conclusions are predictably obvious and others are shocking and startling.  In order to create emotional connection and investment in faith communities, people need to first have a deep-seated experience of belonging… which then leads to believing.

This is a reversal from the approach to ministry for previous generations and sociological eras where cognitive, intellectual teaching of religion was the first step in formation.  Ministry in this post-modern world must begin with the development of more intimate personal relationships and connections before people will become truly engaged in their faith communities.

Huge questions to ponder…

  1. How does our approach to ministry need to shift in order to help people experience God… not simply learn about God?
  2. What do we need to do differently to better meet people’s spiritual needs?
  3. What new skills and insights will lay ecclesial ministers need to develop to be more effective in this shifting landscape?

Listen to Bob’s wisdom and then add your own comments.  We want to hear what you’re experiencing in this changing territory.

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About Steven Adrian

Web Coodinator at Saint John's School of Theology-Seminary
This entry was posted in Summer 2011 and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Dr. Bob McCarty: Changing Territory

  1. Pingback: Young Adults in Lay Ecclesial Ministry | Saint John's School of Theology-Seminary

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