Last October, Pope Francis launched the two-year discovery process to open the Synod on Synodality - a fresh look at the Catholic Church in the modern world. This aligns with one of KPC’s most frequent recommendations for parish work: move toward a co-responsible model of leadership.
But what does co-responsibility really mean? And what does it have to do with Synodality? We found several resources that help explain the basic principles of this new way of living and working within the church:
An overview from National Catholic Register executive editor Heidi Schlumpf:
What is 'co-responsibility' and does the church need it? She delves into the confusion that can surround this question: "What is co-responsibility? We're not really sure," said John Cavadini, director of the McGrath Institute for Church Life at Notre Dame, organizer of the "Called and Co-responsible" conference…He was only half-joking”
A summary from the leadership team at the Global Institute of Church Management:
A good overview of Co-Responsibility and the Laity, including a free webinar on this discussion. They note, “to foster co-responsibility, the laity must receive good formation in the Catholic faith.” Because the Church's mission is evangelization, first and foremost, it’s critical that modern disciples are well-formed in the teachings of our faith.
So, how can you start to implement this in your own ministry? As you look at your leaders, ask yourself a few key questions:
Who does the team defer to for oversights of all major decisions?
Who provides every final decision (i.e., “the buck stops here.”) ?
Who leads prayer intentions in opening / closing meetings?
If the answer to all of these is “The Pastor / Priest,” it may be time to start rethinking co-responsibility throughout your environment.
Homework: Last week, we talked about authenticity. Imagine that you can design the most inspiring, vibrant leadership team for your community (without monetary or personal limitations) - what does that look like? What needs to change to make this happen?