GUIDANCE FOR GROUP LEADERS
To kick off the semester, Fr. Brett Brannen is inviting both veteran group leaders and brand-new leaders to take part in a video meeting to share best practices. This is a chance to share your successes and learn from others. Please RSVP below and a link to join the Video Meeting will be emailed later.
RSVP for Meeting
Topics in the meeting will include:
• Introduction from Fr. Brannen
• Best practices from veteran group leaders
• Overcoming the most common challenges
• Q&A for running an effective group
• Open discussion with new group leaders
The most challenging part of The Melchizedek Project is recruiting young men to attend.
Getting them there is 90% of the battle.
Discernment groups are incredibly fruitful, but it can be quite challenging to find enough men willing to commit to the meetings. Here are a few tips based on years of experience.
Problem: There aren’t enough guys interested in the priesthood.
Do not advertise the group as if it is only for men who want to be priests! Rather, the group is for faithful Catholic men who are open to God’s call, whatever it may be, and want to learn about priesthood—even if only to rule it out. Stress that every good, young, practicing Catholic man who loves Jesus Christ and His Church should spend some time discerning priesthood. Even if he is called to mariage and fatherhood, learning about the priesthood will make him a better Catholic man! One group leader says to students on campus: “Give Jesus seven sessions to learn about discernment and then, if you’re not called, go in peace.”
Problem: Limited access to a large cohort of young men
This is seldom a problem on college campuses. However, an average-sized parish may struggle to find enough guys. We recommend coordinating with several parishes to form a city-wide group instead.
Problem: The priest is too busy to handle the legwork of organizing meetings.
Some of the best groups have an organizer who is not the priest. Instead, to handle all the meeting logistics, recruit a FOCUS missionary, a youth minister, or even a responsible young man. Then the priest simply comes in to lead prayer and discussion. For help with meals, ask a Serra Club or Knights of Columbus Council.
As with anything, personal invitation is the absolute best method for forming your group. Said one group organizer: “Be bold. Personally invite young men who haven’t even expressed any desire in the priesthood but might be open to having a serious discussion (even if they have never had one before) about following God’s call.”
While personal invitation is best, good promotion is helpful. We have posters and videos to help. Use some creativity to get the word out!
The day before and the day of the meeting, send reminders via text, email, Whatsapp, Facebook, or any other method you can think of. Young men need reminders.
Rely on the Discussion Guide
Trust us on this one—just use the questions provided and the meeting will nearly run itself! No need for re-invention.
Share a Meal
This creates community and prompts informal discussion. This is a critical component of building camaraderie and helping men feel at ease.
Let the Men Do the Talking
Don’t dominate the conversation; let guys talk about what’s on their minds and hearts (though it may take a few meetings before they warm up).
Don’t Be Too Formal
The idea is to build a wholesome environment of spiritual support, but also camaraderie and fun. If there’s no laughter, you’re doing it wrong!
Seminarians can make excellent group leaders. A good summer assignment is to organize and lead a discernment group.
Together, let's find YOUNG men who are ready to ask...
"Am I willing to follow Christ no matter what the cost, no matter what the call?"
"Will I choose to trust His will for me, and courageously go where He leads?"
questions? Call 877-585-1551