by Lorraine Miller
God calls each of us by name. (Is. 43:1)
The most effective way to recruit team members is to personally invite them. This presumes you know the community well enough and the particular gifts of its members. If you do not, then it is helpful to consult with those who do. Consider the qualities that are important for an effective team. RCIA team members should be people who can keep confidences, are flexible, prayerful, enthusiastic, team players, and have a passion for our faith.
Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. (1 Cor. 12:7)
There are many different roles and responsibilities in the RCIA process. And while no one person has all the gifts that are needed, the Spirit has placed the gifts needed within the community. Our task is to find those gifts and call them forth.
Consider the roles needed in order to implement the vision of the Rite: priests, deacons, liturgists, musicians, catechists, sponsor coordinator, retreat leaders, hospitality. Is there someone who cherishes God’s word? Invite them to break open the word through dismissal. Is there someone who is a cheerful and welcoming? Invite this person to help with hospitality. Is there someone who knows the faith and can present it effectively? Perhaps this person would be a great catechist. By recognizing and calling forth people with a specific gift and then giving them the opportunity to use that gift fully, you help them to blossom personally, develop ownership of the ministry, and become more committed to the process.
A team that has been chosen based on their giftedness, helps connect the catechumens and candidates to the community in whom they will find the person of Jesus Christ.
The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. (Mt. 9:37)
In many parishes, only a small percentage of people actively participate in parish ministries. That’s why finding volunteers to help with the RCIA is challenging. Start by looking for potential team members in Scripture study groups, adult formation classes, those who came through the RCIA process at least a year prior, sponsors who have fallen in love with this ministry, or parents and spouses of the newly initiated whose faith has been awakened.
Often times, recognizing and calling forth someone else’s gift helps ignites the fire within. Ultimately this work, as with all work for the Kingdom, belongs to God. So pray continually, asking “the Lord of the harvest to send laborers to his harvest.” (Mt. 9:38)