Q: Tell us a little about yourself and your role at St. John the Evangelist Parish.
Hello, my name is Shayne Slough, and three years ago I became the Director of Parish Life at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Jackson, MI. I’ve been married to my husband John for 29 years, and we have two children, Allie and John, and a son-in-law, Thomas. This year we welcomed a beautiful granddaughter named Lucy. Before I worked for St. John, I taught 8th grade English in the Jackson Area Catholic Schools for 26 years. Then, the Holy Spirit had a change of plans in mind! My role at the parish includes a wide-range of activities including our Sunday Experience, Alpha program, and communications, as well as outreach and evangelization efforts with our Parish Representatives and parishioners. I’m also a part of our Parish Leadership Team. I LOVE this calling!
Q: What are some of the obstacles you face in evangelizing and forming disciples?
As is probably the case for most working in parish life…TIME is one of the biggest obstacles. The basics of Parish Life often gobble up most of the week, but with our new thematic goal being one of “intensifying a culture of discipleship,” I’m slowly seeing my emphasis shift. Forming disciples takes time and investment and a willingness to walk with people “where they are.”
Q: What features of Mission Pathways’ software are the most beneficial to you?
With its many recent additions, the software is a needed and useful place for us to track our parishioners, monitoring them on their “walk.” We really like the fact that you can view someone’s involvement and gifts thereby gaining a better sense of who our “on fire” parishioners are in order to engage them further, inviting them on “mission.”
Q: Why did you decide to use Mission Pathways?
Two key things drove our decision to use Mission Suite: 1) The desire to better “keep track” of our disciples, not letting anyone “slip through the cracks” and 2) The Mission Pathways team’s desire to always look at what the customer needs in terms of the program itself. MP continually seeks our input and in doing so provides a tool suited to our needs.
Q: What advantages does Mission Suite have over how you did things before?
We’re still working on a complete “switch-over” on our end, but the suite eliminates the varied spreadsheets and documents that were once used for record-keeping, allowing “key players” access to see “where” any one particular person is in formation and on the path of discipleship.
Q: Have you used the Mission Suite software for other parish programs, such as: Mass attendance, RCIA, Religious Education, etc?
Not yet but our current goal is to train more of our staff in its use and eventually consolidate the majority of our databases here.
Q: How has evangelization transformed your parish?
Evangelization has transformed the classes taught and our approach to Religious Education and sacramental prep. In comparison with just a few years ago, our parishioners are developing prayer lives and diving into Scripture. We have numerous small groups growing in their relationship with the Lord and each others. Our parishioners are much more cognizant of their role as “evangelizers,” and this is a key first step.