The Four Ways Forward: Becoming an Apostolic Parish in a Post-Christian World by Susan Windley-Daoust Our Sunday Visitor (October 31, 2022) 208 pages
The Four Ways Forward: Becoming an Apostolic Parish in a Post-Christian World
Radical hospitality and proclamation. Spiritual multiplication. Mission (re)focus. Divine signs and wonders.
These are the four models practiced by fruitful, joyful, evangelizing parishes.
These are the four ways to move forward toward evangelizing our post-Christian culture.
An increasingly post-Christian world is forcing parishes to re-envision how they “make disciples of all nations” (Mt 28:19). Pastors and lay leadership must pivot to building mission-first parishes, equipped to proclaim the Gospel to those who have not heard it — while the number of practicing Catholics falls with increasing speed.
Parish leaders are hungry for programs and resources to help address these challenges. Yet no single model or program can suit every parish, and leaders are bogged down with options, many of which offer no clear goals or methods. In The Four Ways Forward, Susan Windley-Daoust, theologian and diocesan director of missionary discipleship, provides a road map to pastors and parish staff to make sense of it all.
To become an apostolic parish, there are four effective models to choose from, each built on a distinct, necessary insight and method in the art of conversion:
Radical hospitality and proclamation
The practice of spiritual multiplication
Organizational mission (re)focus
Highlighting divine signs and wonders in our midst
Every fruitful, joyful, evangelizing parish should embrace the insights and methods of at least three of the four models. This book not only describes each model, giving examples of how it is being used in parishes today, but offers a practical blueprint toward crafting a response to the post-Christian world, including notes on spiritual roadblocks that can get in the way.
Susan Windley-Daoust is Director of Missionary Discipleship for the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, Minnesota. She received her doctorate in Theology from Vanderbilt University, and taught college theology for 22 years. She is the author of four books and many articles. She is married to Jerry, and they are parents to five children.