Building a Better Parish: A conversation with Pat Lencioni of Amazing Parish
Serving in a parish is one of the joys of priestly ministry, but it is also one that is fraught with challenges. In an effort to help pastors better serve their parishes, Patrick Lencioni and John Martin co-founded the Amazing Parish movement in 2013. The initiative helps pastors commit all aspects of parish life to prayer, to ensure the parish leadership team functions as a healthy organization, and to direct the focus of the entire parish outward in discipleship and evangelization.
Lencioni has also written a book entitled “The Better Pastor: A Fable About Embracing the Role of Leading a Parish” (Lighthouse Catholic Publishing, $14.95), which, as he describes it, “is just a gentle short fable about a priest who comes to the realization that there is more that he can do to run his parish and that it will serve him and serve his people in his calling.” The Priest magazine recently spoke with Lencioni about his book and his service to priests in the Church through the Amazing Parish movement.
The Priest: What have been some of the reactions the Amazing Parish model has produced among priests, and what do you think is the reason for those reactions?
Patrick Lencioni: I think they come into [the conference] not knowing what to expect and they leave saying, “this is the Holy Spirit,” and with a new sense of hope. And since they come with their staff members, it’s a group hope. They’re all talking about real things, and so many of the people that have come and experienced Amazing Parish feel there is a new sense of passion for what they are doing and a greater purpose.