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Meet our new Executive Director, Tim Glemkowski!

Tim will be joining Amazing Parish as its next Executive Director on August 15th after he completes his role as CEO of the National Eucharistic Congress this July. The announcement of Tim’s hire can be found here.

As he starts this journey with Amazing Parish, we wanted to bring you a short Q+A. Hope you enjoy learning more about Tim and his vision and plans for the future.

Tim and his wife Maggie live in Littleton, CO with their four young children, Eva (8), Theo (6), Charlie (4), and Vera (1).

Tim and his wife Maggie live in Littleton, CO with their four young children, Eva (8), Theo (6), Charlie (4), and Vera (1).

We are very excited for you to join the Amazing Parish team in August! First, tell us a little about yourself. 

Tim Glemkowski: I grew up in the western suburbs of Chicago and attended Franciscan University of Steubenville after experiencing a big conversion at one of their youth conferences my senior year of high school. There I felt a real call to spend my life working as hard as I could for the needed renewal of the Church. I thought I might be called to be a priest so I attended Mundelein Seminary for a year outside of Chicago after college but then eventually married my wife and had our first child in Ann Arbor, MI.

Everything I have done professionally has been about a simple question, “How do we transform the means of the Church (i.e. Her structures, budgets, mindsets, culture, habits) so that they are better oriented to Her end, namely, making disciples?” That desire and calling has led us to a lot of places – from teaching high school theology to working for parishes full-time to starting apostolates and leading strategy for the Archdiocese of Denver. But that mission has always been the through line for me.

What originally drew you to the mission of Amazing Parish?

TG: I have always been a huge admirer of Amazing Parish’s mission and how effective they are at it. There are many great apostolates involved in parishes but, to me, Amazing Parish is the leader in creating real traction for pastors and catalyzing lasting renewal for parishes.

More than a program or curriculum, Amazing Parish walks shoulder-to-shoulder with pastors as they do the hard work of changing their parish culture. That is really uncommon in the Church. It is easy to say, “We have this program/resource/blueprint to follow.” It is less common to hear an apostolate say, “We’re with you until the job is done.”

To me, there is a clear and profound genius that Pat Lencioni and John Martin have brought to this organization in how they founded it to help pastors transform their parish’s culture from the inside out. We used those same principles in my work at the Archdiocese of Denver and witnessed their impact.

To summarize, in a word, what I am attracted to personally about Amazing Parish is impact. Amazing Parish has real solutions in how they work with pastors that create real transformation. To join a mission that is having such a dramatic impact on-the-ground and  have a chance to grow and expand that impact – dreaming up and implementing ways to help it reach more of the Church nationally, and even internationally – feels like the opportunity of a lifetime.

How do you see Amazing Parish’s impact on the priesthood? On church renewal as a whole?

TG: God was really moving in my heart prior to me taking this role to spotlight how crucial  priestly renewal is in our time. In the months before my conversations with the Amazing Parish Board of Directors, I heard of multiple young, gifted, on-fire priests who were in the process of leaving the priesthood. Then, tragically, a pastor that I know from when I was in seminary passed away in his late thirties from liver failure. This was the most gifted and, seemingly joyful, pastor leading the biggest, busiest, most popular parish around, but clearly was encountering challenges that many were not aware of.

It is clear that the current way the Church is structured, and the way priests are being prepared to operate in that structure, is broken. We have a responsibility as a Church to help these men. Already I have heard dozens of stories from pastors who have worked with Amazing Parish of how it saved, not just their leadership and its effectiveness, but their priesthood, and even some have said, their life.

The Church goes as the parish goes and the parish goes as the pastor does. Full stop. That’s the reality on the ground for the Catholic Church in America today. So, if we want renewal in the Church, we have to work with the pastors God has invited to leadership and help them drive change. Doing so helps them step into the priesthood they dreamed of in seminary. The work of Amazing Parish invites our priests into personal renewal, in addition to the renewal of their parishes.

What are your top priorities as you step into the Executive Director role?

TG: My priority coming into Amazing Parish is pretty simple: growth.

Over the last eleven years, Amazing Parish has, in my opinion, expertly crafted and refined a way of coaching, gathering, and inspiring pastors to help them lead transformation.

My goal now is to “Open wide the doors to Christ!” and get that into as many places in the Church as possible. Hundreds of pastors are actively using the Amazing Parish leadership team model in their parish. We need that number to be in the thousands. I think every single pastor should have the blessing of leading with a team.

In order to do that, the key is telling our story really well, operating very effectively, and strengthening relationships and partnerships at the diocesan, apostolate, and mission partner levels.

There is also now an incredible community of pastors and their teams, some of whom have been part of the AP Movement for five, six, or seven years. I want to capitalize on their expertise to expand the reach and impact of Amazing Parish by inviting participants in the movement to become leaders of it. We can use the gifts of these parish leaders to spur forward new ways of helping the Church.

The work of renewal is not easy. Amazing Parish – through our coaching, events, resources, thought leadership and more – is a life-changing partner for bishops, pastors, and lay leaders who want to see that renewal actually happen in the Church. That story needs to be told with greater clarity and frequency.

What are your hopes for the future of Amazing Parish?

TG: We have seen how the trajectory of the Church in the United States has changed very positively over the last thirty years because of the impact of lay apostolates. In ten years, I would like for the Church to clearly recognize Amazing Parish among those lay movements which truly moved the needle globally.

We see a vision for a Catholic Church in the coming years where pastors are leading boldly and apostolically, not just in select places, but in tens of thousands of parishes across the globe. Where finding a life-giving parish that feeds and challenges your family, a place where you can encounter Jesus, is not something you have to drive miles and miles for, but just how Catholics experience parish life across the United States. Where pastors recognize the irreplaceable importance of their leadership in bringing about that reality and are equipped to carry it out.

There is no silver bullet for this needed renewal today. No broad brush that can sweep renewal across the Church. It is going to be hard work, parish-by-parish, pastor-by-pastor. It is going to take time. But, as the saying goes, “People tend to overestimate what can be done in a year and underestimate what can be done in ten.”

I see the Church at a key crossroads right now. If we work hard over the next decade, it really could be possible to change the experience of the Church at the local level for millions of Catholics. If we miss our window, though, and keep the status quo, it is hard to predict where continued decline might take us as a Church. I feel the urgency of that.

I truly think God wants Amazing Parish to be the leading voice in forming healthy and effective leaders for the sake of renewing the church, nationally and globally. In ten years, I would love to see that happen.

Anything else you would like to say to our mission partners?

TG: Two things – 1. Thank you for all you have done for this mission. The Amazing Parish is a remarkable organization that I am honored to be joining and I know that everything that has been accomplished already is only possible because of your generosity. Thank you.

2. Please pray for us! For God’s will to be done. As I come into Amazing Parish, I don’t want to just bring my plans to God and ask Him to bless them. I want to ask God what his plans are for Amazing Parish and move towards those. Pray for our team’s discernment and docility to where God is moving this apostolate!

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