How Will You Innovate?

Jun 12, 2024
Light bulb with a cross inside

In the recent “Planning for Parish Catechesis” blog series you will find six systemic approaches that can stimulate your thinking about planning new initiatives in 2024-25 and beyond (go to They included:

  • Using multi-platform programming to reach more people by designing one program in different formats, schedules, and media.
  • Creating a menu of faith forming experiences to address the diversity of people’s learning needs and religious-spiritual needs and overcome the limitations of the one-size-fits-all approach to catechesis.
  • Utilizing a catechumenal formation process for sacramental preparation and for personalizing catechesis for families and age groups.
  • Creating seamless family faith formation from birth to high school graduation to strengthen the primary faith forming community and support parents in providing religious socialization at home.
  • Strengthening the intergenerational fabric of the faith community to create relationships and faith forming experiences among all generations, providing an important context for all ages to grow in faith and discipleship. (See the article, “Pathways to an Intentionally Intergenerational Parish” at
  • Building “front porch” experiences to provide spaces for engaging with people, building relationships, and providing programming in the wider community. (See the article, “Build a Front Porch” at


So how will you innovate in 2024-25 and beyond?

Which ideas have stimulated your thinking?

What can you begin doing now?


It’s helpful to think about planning new catechetical programs in two ways:
1) How can we enhance and/or expand our current catechetical approaches and programming to address new needs and audiences?
2) How can we create new initiatives to address new needs and audiences? You might also ask the question: What do you need to stop doing – something that is no longer working – so that you create space for new initiatives?

Think about planning (enhancing, expanding, or creating) in a three-year timeframe: short term (within one year), mid-term (within one-two years), and long term (over a three year span). This approach allows implementation of new projects to be sequenced over time and reduces the feeling of being overwhelmed with designing new programming.

Short-Term Planning: Identify ideas or strategies that can be integrated into existing plans and programs or can be designed and implemented quickly in the first year. This would be especially true for initiatives that are enhancements or an expansion of a current program or activity.

Mid-Term Planning: Identify ideas that need more design time and that can be implemented within one or two years. These initiatives need to be seen over a one-two year timeframe with a more sequenced implementation that might involve piloting the new initiative first before expanding it to a wider audience.

Long-Term Planning: Identify ideas that need design time, piloting and testing, and then implementation over the next several years. The initiatives are long term projects that require more time for planning and building capacity, and need to be introduced in stages over multiple years.

Organize your ideas and strategies for the future into these three categories and then discern what new innovations you are going to develop over the next three years.


John Roberto
NCCL Executive Director
[email protected]


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