Pastoral Organization Development Courses

In the parish or diocese in Philippine settings, life remains more or less the same year in and year out: same liturgical celebrations, same events, same leadership styles and structures. Sometimes, we can introduce a new evangelization program or a new social action project but we find that such new things do not produce lasting change. Maybe because the structures or ways of doing things have remained the same. Sometimes structures are more difficult to change and can then be hindrance to authentic change.

Change then is the most important thing that pastoral ministers need to facilitate.

However, most if not all people resist change, for many valid reasons. How do we create an atmosphere of change so that people can welcome change and become change agents?

Change cannot be imposed. It is self-motivated. How can we help people realize the need for change? How can we make change attractive and desirable? Authentic change is not done by heroes. It can only be a community effort. How do we engage a whole community to change? More importantly, how do we listen to everyone´s voice? The voice of the other, the stranger, the outsider, the opposition are also very important because in a community-oriented church, everyone’s voice is important.

Bukal has designed a change tool, or perhaps change ‘process’, is a better term as change cannot be done as if there is an existing formula. This Bukal change tool encourages analysis, participation of all, seeking for deeper values where opposing forces can find convergence, favoring a positive outlook, and never forgetting that for Jesus, change is a relationship and not a project.

Most of the work of Bukal has been designing context-responsive and culture-fit programs in partnership with the local parish or diocesan teams. But in recent years, we realize that it is more productive if we help parish or diocesan teams to design frameworks instead of programs. In this way, our partners would not just own the product, but own the process itself. By framework, we mean the guiding principles and process of a particular objective or goal.

Most offices – business or government – would hire OD experts or consultants when they want to change something in their offices: be it vision, strategies, structures, ways of doing things, cultures, etc. What if the community themselves are the experts and their own consultants in organizing their communities?

Although BEC-organizing has been our work as Bukal  for two decades, we have to admit that our concept of BEC-organizing still has the bias of outside organizers: a BEC Facilitating Team from the next village organizes a BEC in another village. This new course, inspired by our new learnings and application of Pastoral OD, takes a second look at community-organizing, with the communities themselves – their own charisms, cultures and contexts – as resources. If communities are OD experts themselves, how do we pastoral workers or BEC Teams relate and partner with them?

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