It was the year 2019. Fr. Andrew Chung was the new administrator at St. Pancratius in Lakewood, CA. Fr. Chung was feeling very alone and confused as a leader before he encountered the Amazing Parish movement. He knew something needed to change but was not familiar with the principles of organizational health. Father’s journey with Amazing Parish began at the Anaheim Summit and he started receiving coaching in September 2019. He went on to become pastor of St. Pancratius in 2021.
Father said that St. Pancratius has experienced a deep level of transformation as a result of Amazing Parish coaching. “This is the best coaching,” he said with enthusiasm and gratitude in his voice. Father mentioned that coaching was especially helpful during the height of the COVID-19 turbulence. When asked what the transformation has looked like for his parish, he said it has been “building a culture of teamwork that supports one another, enters into prayer, and challenges one another to become disciples.” He has noticed that parishioners are “buying into the parish in a greater way.” Fr. Andrew also has greatly appreciated being equipped to enter into the difficult conversations that he knows he needs to have as a leader but would rather avoid.
Fr. Chung noted he is very grateful that Amazing Parish offers coaching at zero cost to the parish. He expressed his gratitude to our benefactors and exclaimed that he is “grateful for their generosity that has allowed me to become the leader I am and has given me the opportunity to continue to grow.”
The impact Amazing Parish coaching has had on Fr. Andrew is what gave him a willingness to give back to the movement when called upon. Historically, the work of Amazing Parish has been made possible by a relatively small number of generous benefactors. In order to serve more pastors and parishes, an expanded funding model will be vital in achieving this goal. “As our movement grows, our funding model needs to grow as well,” Amazing Parish Executive Director Matthew Rudolph said.
Fr. Andrew’s passion for the mission of Amazing Parish was evident when he was asked if he could think of anyone who has been touched by the movement and might be willing to provide financial support. Within one hour, Fr. Andrew reached out to multiple parishioners who he feels have a heart and love for the Church. Several people referred by Fr. Andrew decided to join the movement with a financial gift. It is these small acts of courage and boldness modeled by Fr. Andrew that will allow Amazing Parish to help pastors transform more parishes across the country.
While it can seem daunting at first to make these connections, Fr. Andrew has learned it is nothing to be afraid of. “The worst thing that can happen is you get a simple ‘no’.” Father continued, “As long as you have given your love to the parish, a simple ask will lead to more yes’s than no’s.”
Fr. Andrew’s efforts are deeply appreciated and serve as an example for what is possible in other parishes. “We are so grateful to pastors like Fr. Andrew Chung who have been early adopters and have helped us connect with local parishioners to support the growing needs of the AP movement,” Matthew continued. Just one key introduction to Amazing Parish could make it possible for us to help an additional parish experience the tangible transformation that so many faith communities are thirsting for.
Do you know anyone who might want to support the renewal of the Church? Please connect them to Amazing Parish. As Christ said, “the harvest is plenty but the laborers are few.” Your willingness to make a connection will help to multiply the harvest by allowing Amazing Parish to continue to invest in the laborers.
Fr. Andew Chung, Pastor
St. Pancratius I Lakewood, CA