St. Luke’s, Baton Rouge
Review & Restart
The overall need for St. Luke’s is to find ways to become more relevant to young families while remaining a solid ground for established parishioners.
The majority of adults (76%) feel the church successfully nurtures their spiritual development through worship, pastoral leadership, music, prayer, teaching, and outreach opportunities. Setting a seasonal schedule with breaks in between themes will allow adults to plan on their participation while allowing for specific Sundays as parish fellowship events.
There are many dedicated followers of Christ at St. Luke’s who have wisdom and life experience to be shared with younger people. There are also elders who can benefit from relationships with young people. Over 85% of congregants are interested in attending events that foster connection across generations. Intergenerational faith formation strengthens relationships among people of all ages, enhances their sense of belonging in the faith community, and increases participation in church life. Along with the scheduled seasonal offerings, these events should be developed around various occasions such as back to school/work, secular holidays, social justice, or simply for fellowship.
Parents need to be equipped for conversations about God and religion at home. The church should determine how to best help parents feel comfortable talking to their children about God. This can be accomplished by supplying families with resources that include upcoming lessons in the newsletter or via email so parents can prep children before Sunday and/or to have on hand in case of absence.
The entire youth program needs to refocus with a strong curriculum emphasizing community service, fun, and faith formation. It is recommended St. Luke’s hires a full-time lay family minister to discern and equip a team of adults to serve the children, youth, and parish family ministries. The primary function of this position is to work closely with clergy to create an overall vision and communal rhythm of faith formation
with all ages and stages from children and youth to adults, including family faith formation. If this person also worked at the school, they could serve as a bridge between the entities.
There were multiple requests for more ministries with diverse people and service projects that reach out to the communities with needs. Since St. Luke's desires to be known through its ministries in the community it is recommended the outreach committee discern and focus on three or four meaningful ministries that truly make a difference in people’s lives. To serve those less fortunate, the parish needs to build relationships with the agencies who support them. The staff can describe the needs of the clients and the parish can work with the staff to fulfill them. Also, outreach projects should be designed for congregants of all ages in mind.
It is recommended the new head of school is hired with the understanding that the relationship with the church is one of collaboration. The rector should work on his schedule to carve out time each week to greet parents and children.
Now is the time to develop a plan to reach out to any families in the database who were not attending pre-covid. It is also a good time to research the public records for new people who have bought homes in the surrounding neighborhoods.
Youth are competent to serve as more than acolytes and should be involved in worship every week. Offer resources for families with children to help them continue the conversation around the Gospel after worship. The capacity of the clergy and worship leaders should be taken in consideration when deciding the service schedule going forward and a compromise in timing will be needed to please all.