Welcoming the Spirit: A Communal Discernment Approach to Pastoral Planning


Author: Dr Christina Kheng

Pastoral planning is about welcoming the Holy Spirit as a community and discerning together the presence of God and the call for the road ahead. This enables the community to live its mission more fruitfully amidst the changing signs of the times.

“Welcoming the Spirit” provides a step-by-step guide to pastoral planning in a synodal way and includes many suggested activities and sample templates. What distinguishes this book is that it seeks to overturn conventional mindsets about planning, highlighting planning as an essentially spiritual, holistic, transformative, and communal journey of discernment, where change often happens in the very midst of the process. Some theological reflections are offered to help pastoral leaders, facilitators, and participants of planning to deepen their understanding and spiritual engagement in this endeavor.

The book draws from the Christian faith tradition and particularly from Ignatian Spirituality, and is suitable for parishes, dioceses, religious congregations, schools, charitable institutions, ecclesial networks, and other church organizations. Additionally, its universal perspective also makes it a refreshing resource for organizations of other religious and secular backgrounds which are seeking a more fruitful, meaningful, and generative process of growth.

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