Anyone who has presided at, or even helped coordinate, a wedding knows that they are likely going to feel overwhelmed at some point. The amount of the details from the flowers to the number of people in the wedding party is often incredible, not to mention the forms, the readings, that special request. Simply put, there’s a lot going on. So for most of us, after the wedding comes and goes, we wipe the sweat off of our forehead, and say “Thank God that’s over.” And then we move on to the next emergency.
The hard reality of parish life is that there is no let up. A priest may have a funeral, baptism, wedding, and fundraiser event in a single day (not to mention the emergency call to go to the hospital). With how busy life can become at the turn of a dime, following up is typically not at the front of a priest’s mind. It takes too much time, it’s too complicated and there are too many fires to put out. But this is not good enough. If we are truly charged to share the Gospel effectively, we need to change.
One of the largest reasons people are leaving parishes, especially young people, is that they don’t feel seen, heard, or cared for. This is not something that a new video series or Theology on Tap event can fix. Instead, it boils down to taking the time to make that personal connection.
To help, we’ve created templates to get you started. Feel free to copy and paste the content of these templates, and edit them however you want to make them more personal and unique to you. If you have Pastoral Parish, you can use the templates with our automatic follow-up feature so you can set them to automatically send at 1 month, 6 months, and 12 months after celebrating a marriage, or whenever you think would be the most effective.
Simple gestures like this help your parishioners feel personally known and appreciated, which in turn leads them to be more active members of your community. When it comes to evangelization, there is no replacement for personal relationships. Use the templates, take two minutes, send the follow-up, and start building a more personal community.