Resources for Developing
Small Christian Communities
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To make people aware of the value of joining an SCC, and to stir up within them the desire to make the commitment to attend the weekly meetings, use the following ideas for developing SCCs is recommended:
- Begin to have on-going bulletin announcements explaining the value of SCCs.
- Begin to have periodic witnesses given at Masses by people who’ve experienced SCCs in the past. Have sign-ups after Mass on each occasion.
- Offer a Bible Study course with the same emphasis as a Parish Mission (Terry Modica can give such a course that’s an overview of the whole Bible) to increase interest in and to prepare parishioners for discussing the Sunday readings within SCCs.
- As soon as #2 begins, other ideas for developing SCCs includes at-home Masses. Call upon the people who signed up after the weekend Masses and start holding Neighborhood Masses in their homes. Invite all registered parishioners who live in that neighborhood, expecting that only about 20-30% will attend the Neighborhood Mass. The Masses can be spaced out about one a week, so as not to overburden the priests.
- Those who attend the Neighborhood Masses are then invited to return weekly for SCC meetings. Expect that only about 10% will join.
- After people have been meeting in SCCs for a few months, use them as witnesses to repeat #2 and continue building interest in SCCs and continue getting additional neighborhoods to hold Home Masses. The witnessing and starting new groups is an ongoing process.
- witnesses for speaking at Masses about the benefit the joining small Christian communities
- volunteers to handle sign-ups at all the Masses when witnesses speak (without this, parishioners would sign up in the Church Office)
- SCC coordinator who:
1. divides neighborhoods and arranges people in groups
2. advises hosts of Home Masses how to prepare
3. trains leaders of SCCs on how to guide the meetings
4. distributes scripture study materials to SCC leaders
5. plans twice-a-year retreats where all SCC members come together