Our webmaster, Shane Schaetzel over at Catholic in the Ozarks, has the following tips for Anglican Ordinariate parish growth on Facebook:
The following are 8 recommendations from what I have witnessed to work. This is how we are growing one Ordinariate parish so fast we can barely keep up with the building size…
1.) Get away from established Catholic parishes. You can’t build your own house in somebody else’s backyard. Embrace the missionary spirit. Move away from your host parish and set up shop in a populated area where no Catholic parishes are nearby. Even if you have to meet in somebody’s home, or in a storefront, it’s better than trying to build your own house in somebody else’s backyard.
2.) Get a good website and reliable contact info. Work your Google business listing for the highest visibility. Make sure people can easily find you.
3.) Behave like a parish. Make sure you’re offering mass and reconciliation regularly.
4.) Make sure you have a parish name — patron saint — don’t go by “Ordinariate Community…” Nobody understands what that means.
5.) Accept everybody, even cradle Catholics looking for a new home. Remember, people don’t have to be Ordinariate eligible to become members of an Ordinariate parish/community. Also, think outside the box when it comes to evangelism. If you’re only reaching out to Anglicans, you’re doing something wrong. You need to reach out to all non-Catholics. Remember, any non-Catholic (regardless of religious background) who is received into the Catholic Church through an Ordinariate parish/community is automatically eligible for Ordinariate membership as well.
6.) Offer highly traditional liturgy. Youth are more attracted to tradition these days. Don’t fall for the hippy happy-clappy trap. Nothing is more dated than contemporary worship. If you want young people to join your community, you need to offer old traditional liturgy. The more “high-church” the better. So use that Divine Worship Missal regularly and vigorously.
7.) Offer challenging homilies. People today are sick and tired of watered-down, non-offensive homilies that don’t challenge them to live the faith. Don’t get me wrong. We need to show the love of God in all of our teaching, but at the same time we need to clearly define sin and challenge our people to overcome it.
8.) Don’t over-explain yourself. There is a tendency to want to explain the whole thing when it comes to the Ordinariate, Anglican Patrimony, our history, etc. Don’t do that. Just answer people’s questions as they ask them, and only give them the information they ask for. Don’t over explain it. That confuses average visitors and makes them think something is “fishy.” Just tell people what they need to know, only when they ask. Then carry on as if what you’re doing is the most natural thing in the world.