Go and Make Disciples: Evangelization and Outreach in US Orthodox Parishes

Ss Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church, Silver Spring, MD

Source: Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops

The first ever, national study on evangelization and outreach in Orthodox parishes in the United States has been released by the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the USA.

Download the report in various formats:

The report “Go and Make Disciples: Evangelization and Outreach in US Orthodox Parishes” explores the practices and strategies developed by some Orthodox parishes that can be viewed as “exemplary” in their missionary and outreach efforts. Examples of what the readers will find in the report include:

  • The “secrets” of being a parish that attracts and welcomes new members;
  • Eight good practices of welcoming first-time visitors and inquirers about the Faith;
  • How do “exemplary” parishes achieve a high degree of involvement of their members in parish life;
  • Four distinct features of religious education in the “exemplary” parishes;
  • Six “lessons” that Church leadership (bishops) can learn from the “exemplary” parishes.

Parishes of seven Orthodox jurisdictions participated in this study. The report was prepared by Alexei Krindatch, the Assembly’s Research Coordinator in cooperation with Fr. Eric Tosi (OCA), Fr. John Parker (OCA) and Adam Roberts (Antiochian Archdiocese). The study was initiated and sponsored by the Committee for Agencies and Endorsed Organizations (Bishop Gregory of Nyssa, Chairman).

Alexei D. Krindatch, Research Coordinator
Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America
http://www.assemblyofbishops.org/news/research

Office: 510-647-9427 Cell: 773-551-7226
Information on Orthodox Christianity in the USA: www.orthodoxreality.org
“You can’t manage what you don’t understand, and you can’t understand what you don’t measure.”

Comments

  1. Michael Bauman :

    I have not had time to review these documents in depth but so far they do not seem unreasonable. One of the “exemplary” traits listed however was participation in ecumenical worship services. That troubles me greatly. It suggests to my mind that accommodation is evangelization.

    Especially in light of Fr. Alexander’s article and the response from some, the idea of participating in ecumenical worship services is sickening to me. When it comes to worship there is nothing we can learn from anyone else. The others need to come and see ours.

  2. I have only had time to read the executive summary. The table points mostly to the convert vs ethnic divide, but this is not news to anyone including the ethnic folks. Like Michael, the recommendations around “ecumenical” and what is really just activist/political involvement (such as the explicit mention of the immigration issue) strikes me as at the very least naive, and probably an expression of the secular and political preferences of the authors. The authors are infatuated with “education” when “spiritual formation” is the better paradigm and the one that is reality operative in the effects they are seeing. Also, perhaps the authors address this in the full report but the axiom “correlation is not causation” holds – they don’t connect the dots in any serious sense.

    All that being said, the report strikes me as something worth pondering about by everyone in “leadership” (lay, clergy, bishops, etc.)…

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