Let There Be Light
This book is the companion piece to the Resurgence Parish Program. Use it in conjunction with our staff, or simply use it as a tool to drive your own program.
What people are saying:
This book confronts the need for change in the Catholic Church.
I have known the author of this book Father James Grant for over 10 years and consider him a courageous and strong religious leader. Father James is a visionary and personal friend. He is an authentic Church leader who believes in taking the Catholic Church to the people and not the other way around.
Father James first came to my attention when I was the Director of Human Resources at AIG which is a multi-national insurance organisation. He was introduced to me by then AIG Chief Executive Officer Mr. Chris Townsend who described him as: “an entrepreneurial and interesting priest”. He was right on both counts!
Father James founded the organisation “Chaplains without Borders” in 2004 to provide chaplaincy services to corporate Australia. Father James was appointed as the world’s first chaplain to the casino industry in 2006 (Crown Casino).
Father James provides an insightful view of the need for change to current parish practices and strategy in this book. He talks about the need for ministers to move outside what he describes as their “comfort zone”. Father James argues that if a parish fails to adapt or reform it is at serious risk of decline.
He uses his knowledge and experience gained over many years in business and provides parish ministers with a framework for leading effective change in their parishes. He explores a range of concepts and strategies which will assist a parish to implement the necessary change to survive and thrive into the future.
Father James believes that the Church is just like any other organisation. It must stay focused on and relevant to the needs of its community or stakeholders to thrive and grow. It must therefore adapt to new ways of doing things and engaging with its community and/or stakeholders.
This book is compelling reading for parish leaders involved in managing stakeholders and setting the strategic direction of the parish. He encourages Church leaders to fully understand the demographics of the community or stakeholders it serves, to be open minded to new ideas without compromising on Church values or belief’s and to use the sphere of influence to drive real outcomes whilst being tolerant of the diversity of views held by the community and stakeholders.
Father James wants the Catholic Church to make a difference in the lives of people through renewal.
I have worked with Father James for many years through the ‘Chaplain’s without Borders’ pastoral care program he has provided to our workplace. I admire the work undertaken by Father James and the contemporary way he seeks to add value to the lives of many and in parallel, works to make the church relevant in this 21st century. Father James understands that the concept of a congregation has moved beyond attendance at a Sunday Service. Father James cultivates a sense of congregation, a collective coming together of likeminded people, whilst breaking down traditional perceptions of what a parish must be.
This book challenges every church to find ways to adapt and change in the 21st century. The work is large in scope and many of the ideas will be confronting for those who see their church as a comfortable and stable old friend. Yet it would be wrong to say that Father James proposes all past practices should be discarded or that the teachings of the Catholic Church should deviate from conservative belief. Rather the work recognises the importance of the church’s history, tradition and place in the community but seeks to make these foundations relevant for the modern worshipper. Father James suggests a clear way forward for church leaders and parishioners – ask what can I do to keep my church meaningful in today’s world? The book gives hope that the Catholic Church will remain a place of faith and succour for the remainder of this century.