It takes all of us, serving as one body, to make our parish an engaging, evangelizing, serving parish. Our parishes will only come to life and call people to deep and lasting faith when we recognize that each of us is called to lead, and we do so together.

The call of Christ

As persons created in God's image, with particular gifts and talents, interests, skills, and life experiences, we are called to Christ's life and love. Through these unique characteristics, we recognize God's blessings, grow in gratitude for these gifts in our lives, and discern and respond to the love of Christ as good stewards of the grace of God. We come to recognize that our small, daily actions, as well as the larger decisions of our lives, must reflect God's love. This is the beginning of service and leadership, building bridges to the heart of discipleship in our parishes and in our lives at home, work, in our cities and world.

Through the waters of baptism

"In virtue of their baptism, all the members of the People of God have become missionary disciples (cf Mt 28:19). All the baptized, whatever their position in the Church or their level of instruction in the faith, are agents of evangelization, and it would be insufficient to envisage a plan of evangelization to be carried out by professionals while the rest of the faithful would simply be passive recipients. The new evangelization calls for personal involvement on the part of each of the baptized." (Pope Francis, The Joy of the Gospel, 120)

To servant leadership

The nature of Christian leadership is that of service. To lead and serve in our parishes and in the world, we walk in the footsteps of Christ, who lays down his life for others, who brings justice, mercy and peace to the waiting world, and who bears the joy of new life to all. As we reflect on this, we realize that everyone is called to lead -- to lead aspects of ministry in our parish, to lead in our homes and places of work, in our towns, cities and world -- to lead others more deeply to the heart of discipleship as followers of Jesus Christ who is the first and best model of servant leadership.