A Church on the Move (Loyola Press, 2016) is an insightful, inspiring, and practical book that looks at issues related to spiritual complacency and obstacles to growth in the Catholic parish setting. The author identifies fifty-two strategies for moving from a stagnant, maintenance culture toward a church with vitality and purposeful action.
Each chapter kicks off with a quote from Pope Francis, setting the direction and tone for the content to follow. Drawing from his extensive experience, author Joe Paprocki skillfully articulates each paralyzing problem and formulates a strategy to produce movement. Rather than getting bogged down in either topic, he pushes forward and describes practical steps for action. Each chapter closes with questions intended for individual reflection or group dialogue.
I appreciate Mr. Paprocki’s honest and direct approach. The reader need not worry about getting mired in drawn-out discussions about theology or theory. This author maintains an emphasis on productive action and change. While his assessments may rankle a few people, he communicates can-do optimism and energy.
Fifty-two chapters may seem overwhelming, but I think you’ll fly through these easily. They are short, well-written, and practical. Efficient topic development helps the reader quickly zero in on the subject matter. Their brevity also allows space to present a more comprehensive view of the broad challenges facing the parish, while still leaving plenty of room for further investigation and dialogue.
The book is a must-read for parish leaders. The author presents a unique viewpoint that pastors need to hear. Lay leaders can use this as a resource for pastoral planning and discussion aid. I think you’ll find a perspective and selection of topics not presented elsewhere. Finally, A Church on the Move is a good read for any disciple seeking to understand the difficulties we face as Church, while also providing material we can use to guide personal growth.
You can listen to an interview with the author here: