July 26, 2006

Human Resources

This week I am at workshop on the human resource management of parishes, a little introduction to everything a pastor might need to know about being an employer in our litigious and service-based economy.

It all makes me see how much church life has come to be modeled as a kind of small business centered around the provision of pastoral care and spirituality as a consumer good. Is this a valid inculturation of the faith in our north american context? Or is it a submission to an economic paradigm at odds with the Gospel? If we really had a catholic culture, would we need to think in these ways?

I'm not pushing one opinion or the other; I'm genuinely unsure about this.


Steph Bachman said...

I have a business perspective, but maybe the fitting of the parish into the business model will help parishes do more good with the resources they have instead of doing "what they've always done" or pet projects which provide less benefit for more money.

It's a tricky thing, also, to manage volunteers (thankless, also?). Good luck to you on your workshop.

Barb, sfo said...

I have done a lot of thinking on this issue in the past year as our parish school was closed (the Diocese termed it a business decision.)
What I was left wondering was this: the Church is mainly in the "business" of providing sacraments and the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy (which includes education in the Faith). Since when are the Sacraments and the Works of Mercy meant to be cost-effective?

Steph Bachman said...

I think it has to do with stewardship - allocation of limited resources in the best possible way.

brother lesser said...

Boy did you hit the nail on the head, Father!

In the business world, infighting erupts as we attempt to have our own ideas implemented into the work place. Within the church, infighting erupts as we attempt to have our own ideas implemented as to what God wants. And obviously, everyone has their own ideas of what God wants and anyone who disagrees with them is not really following God.

I feel very deeply that it's time we all went back to the basics: Simplicity!

by the bay said...

I came across http://www.joenoland.blogspot.com/ and although he speaks to a Salvation Army audience, he has some interesting things to say about leadership v. management. Blessings