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In April 2018, St. James embarked on a strategic planning process to help our parish answer the call for renewal that the Archdiocese of Chicago has put forth through the Renew My Church initiative. The timing for such a process at St. James also coincided with the renovation of our church building—so as the external renovation of our church building began, we started looking inward to determine what internal renovations may be needed to ensure that the St. James community thrives.

The “end date” for this strategic planning process is set for summer 2022, which coincides with the current tentative timing for our Renew My Church grouping process.

Throughout this process, our strategic planning decisions are being informed and guided by our renewed mission, vision, and values, findings from the Gallup Member Engagement Survey, as well as recommendations that the Archdiocese is adopting from “Divine Renovation: Bringing Your Parish from Maintenance to Mission” by Fr. James Mallon.

Our overall goal determined by this strategic planning process is to create a parish-wide discipleship process that helps members encounter Jesus, grow in their relationship with Jesus, and witness their relationship with Jesus to others. Initial priorities to support this goal as of March 2019 include:

  • Improving the Sunday Experience with a focus on hospitality.
    • Target for implementation of initial activities is March 2019 to support the opening of the renovated church building.
  • Positioning Alpha (an 11-week course based on video content and small group discussion) as our main “encounter” experience and developing a network of leaders for Alpha and post-Alpha offerings (e.g., “connect” groups).
    • Target for implementation is currently being determined.

Below are some video and podcast resources about Divine Renovation, one of the resources chosen by the Archdiocese of Chicago to promote a culture of evangelization in parishes as part of Renew My Church.

Divine Renovation Summary Videos (15 min. segments)
* Part #1: The Crisis of Identity
* Part #2: Leadership and Vision
* Part #3: Forming a Leadership Team
* Part #4: Culture – the Key to Lasting Change
* Part #5: The Role of the Holy Spirit

Divine Renovation Podcast on iTunes

The Divine Renovation Podcast explores the questions and challenges of church leadership. Join Fr. James, Dan O’Rourke and Ron Huntley as they take a deep look at how you can bring your church from maintenance to mission.

Divine Renovation Book Aid
This resource from the Archdiocese of Chicago will help you explore the insights from the Divine Renovation book