ARTICLE – A Group of Frogs

As a group of frogs was traveling through the woods, two of them fell into a deep pit. When the other frogs crowded around the pit and saw how deep it was, they told the two frogs that there was no hope left for them. However, the two frogs decided to ignore what the others were saying and they proceeded to try and jump out of the pit. 

Despite their efforts, the group of frogs at the top of the pit were still saying that they should just give up. That they would never make it out. Eventually, one of the frogs took heed to what the others were saying and he gave up, falling down to his death. The other frog continued to jump as hard as he could. Again, the crowd of frogs yelled at him to stop the pain and just give up.

He jumped even harder and finally made it out. When he got out, the other frogs said, “Did you not hear us?” The frog explained to them that he was deaf. He thought they were encouraging him the entire time….

It’s the same thing with our parishes. Some seem to have fallen into a pit. And the circumstances around them shout that hope is lost. And indeed, the closure could be inevitable if nothing changes. 

But some parishes have not given up. Despite being surrounded by the same difficult circumstances, they have chosen to rise to the challenge and become missional. After learning from other churches and changing to become outward-focused, these parishes not only survived but grew to become models of renewal. They did not give up despite challenges and obstacles but persevered to transform themselves.

The following books provide stories of such missional parishes: Rebuilt: Awakening the Faithful, Reaching the Lost, and Making Church MatterDivine Renovation: From a Maintenance to a Missional Parish and The Purpose Driven Church.

Pierre-Alain Giffard

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