Parish Pastoral Council formation - Models or Approaches

A Parish Pastoral Council will use one of the four following models or approaches:

1. The Planning Parish Pastoral Council, whose main task is:

a. to articulate the parish’s mission,

b. to identify goals flowing from the parish mission,

c. to define objectives/strategies to reach those goals.

The planning model focuses on issues dealing with the vision of the parish and its service to the needs of parishioners. This council approach investigates and reflects upon pastoral matters, and then makes recommendations to the pastor. This approach will require a council composed of members who represent both specific groups and interests within the parish as well as parish membership at large.

2. The Coordinating Parish Pastoral Council. This approach for a council is comprised of a representative body of leaders from all organizations and ministries in order to share information and coordinate the most significant activities in the parish.

3. The Managing Parish Pastoral Council. This council approach is comprised of a small group of leaders who manage and pursue particular priorities or implement particular projects as directed by the pastor.

4. Or a parish might need to combine two models or approaches. For example a parish might have a Parish Pastoral Council which functions both as a planning and coordinating council approach. One that is working on mission/goals/strategies, but also coordinating events and ministries.

Which one is best? It depends upon the needs of the pastor and parish. There is no right or wrong way. Each pastor will have his own style and needs. In the end, an effective council is a collaborative leadership team which supports the leadership of the pastor.