The NPPN Executive serves the National Pastoral Planners Network whose purpose is to promote and strengthen a culture of planning for mission and evangelisation within the Catholic Church in Oceania. We engage pastoral research and best practices in church growth to offer experience, knowledge, resources and processes that enable dioceses and parishes to advance the mission of Jesus Christ under the guidance of the Spirit.
Pastoral planning is nothing new to our Church. From the very beginning of our history as a community of disciples planning has been a common part of our life.
In the Acts of the Apostles, for example, we see the community of faith organising itself – identifying, preparing for and responding to the pastoral needs of their fellow believers and those beyond the nascent community. This includes providing for the care of Greek widows (Acts 6:1-6) and addressing the need to catechise the great numbers in Antioch (Acts 11:19-26).
Hence, from the outset, the Church and its leaders discovered particular pastoral needs, discerned ways to address them, and then selected one of the possible options. These activities constitute the essence of ‘pastoral planning.’ Planning is a response of faith to the people, resources and possibilities that God is offering to us for the sake of his mission.
Many Australian and New Zealand dioceses, as well as local parishes, are engaged in pastoral planning to foster a common vision for their life, to listen to the needs and aspirations of their people, to discern future directions and move toward concrete actions. The NPPN exists to support the Church in these efforts.
Below are some other reasons why your community, movement or diocese should start planning today: