"The Church needs the gifts and talents of each of us to help bring the kingdom of God to this world."
In this spirit, the authors, who were both away from the Church for part of their lives, invite parish leaders and adult faith formation and religious education ministers to reach out to the inactive Catholics in their midst. This "reaching out" means sharing their gifts and talents with those who have drifted away and are now searching for renewed faith and involvement. It also involves helping returning Catholics to recognize how their own gifts and talents can build up and "complete" the parish.
"The Church is not just about servicing its own members but is about mission, reaching out to the world and bringing Christ into our homes and workplaces."
To this end, the authors offer practical, how-to advice on building parish programs that will attract inactive Catholics and keep them engaged once they've returned. They honor existing programs such as "Landings" and "Coming Home," but also offer ways to adapt and personalize these programs.
"We are called by our baptism to live the faith authentically every day, not just on Sunday."
The authors provide parish leaders with the basics for setting up a parish program to assist inactive Catholics, but they also emphasize the importance of being authentic shepherds for Christ, gathering up and feeding his sheep. Returnees, they say, will be richer for rekindling their relationship with Christ and the parish will be richer for sharing their journey.