Made for Mission: Interview with Tim Glemkowski on The Petrus Development Show
Nov 13, 2019
In this episode, Andrew speaks with Tim Glemkowski, Co-Founder and President of L’Alto. L’Alto Catholic Institute exists to help parishes meet the challenges and opportunities of this New Evangelization head on by helping them Win, Build, and Send missionary disciples. Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati’s famous battle cry, “Verso l’alto” means “to the heights” and L’Alto Catholic Institute seeks to inspire Catholics to seek after the heights of holiness and mission. Tim is also one of the founding members of Revive Parishes. Revive serves pastors, staff, and volunteers of parishes to help form joyful missionary disciples among the faithful. Tim’s new book, Made for Mission: Renewing Your Parish Culture was just released and can be found on amazon. Andrew and Tim discuss the risk of mission in this interview. Tim’s goal is to make Jesus Christ the center of personal and parish life.
- His hero is Saint John Paul II – “New Evangelization” encapsulates the Church in the post modern/post Christian world. The Millenial generation is the first post Christian generation. His passion is how to Church will operate in this new environment.
- First ministry job was teaching high school theology.
- Grew up in Wheaton, Illinois
- He saw the need to do something about the world becoming increasingly secular. Began L’Alto in 2016.
- Ultimately, God is responsible and we place our trust in Him, but you have to put forth work and effort. We have a role in running an organization.
- Your mission is risk. God wants that risk, that stepping out in faith. Leaves room for God to move.
What is L’Alto? Why did you start it?
- In order to renew the Church, we need to renew parishes. In order to renew parishes, we have to form disciples.
- 74% of Catholics think cohabitation is ok. 2/3 of Catholics don’t believe in the Real Presence.
- Everything L’Alto does focuses on making Jesus Christ the center of people’s lives.
- They partner with parishes for 9 months and work alongside them to help them learn to fish.
- The Mission of the Church is primary!
- culture change doesn’t happen overnight. takes 5-10 years.
- Clarify the mission and vision, figure out a clear path, mobilize leaders, then organize the ministries at the parishes to work towards their goal.
- Millenials and Gen Z don’t want the maintenance Church anymore.
- Missionary Church is difficult for the Boomer generation to catch up to. They grew up in a Christian culture.
- Younger generation is harder to pull in but once in, they’re all in!
- “Millenials care about two things: Global causes and themselves.”
- Campus ministries are great signs of hope these days! Pockets of vitality (FOCUS, SPO, etc). Lots of young people really encountering Jesus Christ in a life-changing way. “This isn’t complicated, but it’s really really good! And really effective when you actually see it done well.”
Business Side of Things
- Parishes pay a few when they work with L’Alto, but it’s split 50/50 with that and fundraising. They then have recurring monthly donors and major gifts.
- If you could teach someone something you learned, why would it be?: Fundraise! “No money. No mission”
- Fundraising is about “low and slow.” You can’t rush it. It has to be about the relationship
- Fundraising and Mission Advancement aren’t these evil things he has to do as part of his job, but one of the most life giving parts of his job is Mission Advancement!
- Your donors want to be part of your mission! Not intuitive at first and it feels awkward. But you don’t just need money. You need to engage with your donors and share with them and learn about their lives. Not just for your sake, but for their sake too. It is life giving to your donors to participate in the mission in that way.
Tim’s new book – Made for Mission: Renewing Your Parish Culture
- Parishes want to know how to be on mission, form disciples, change their parish culture, do things better and renew the Church. Pastors asked him, “What are we supposed to do differently and who is going to help us?”
- The book formed out of the foundational thoughts of L’Alto’s coaching process for parishes
- It is the how and the why behind the coaching process of their parish partnership
- Open Source practices.
- Our Sunday Visitor wanted to partner with him on a book.
- Batch wrote 1,000 words a day in a little over a month and then his editor cut things out and fixed it up.
- Very vulnerable to put your thoughts out there.
- Core audience is any engaged Catholic who goes to their parish and thinks, “Could this be better?”
- Pastors now not only have to be administrators but also visionary leaders who can accomplish the mission of the Church, and it’s a skill set they have to learn. Seminaries need to do things differently to train men prior to ordination.
- Fundraise for any organization at any point in history?: Companions of Christ (Began in St. Paul/Minneapolis. Model for priests. They live in community and take vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience)
- Donor meeting with anyone?: Charlemagne (begin some mission organization to evangelize the world)
- Enough money for organizations doing good work?: Kinda. Yes and No. Honestly, there is more money out there than people realize, but there are a lot of causes and the donor pool is dwindling. There is good money for good mission. Apostolates need to unify and help each other and not cannibalize.
- Offer younger self piece of advice?: Take more time to form more relationships. Low and slow. Build up your base of monthly supporters.
- Three people who have most influenced you in professional life?: John Paul II, some of his professors (Dr. John Bergsma, Jim Beckman, Doug Bushman), first boss with Lighthouse Catholic Media (Mark Mittendorf: taught him about putting the mission first and keeping prayer central), Mike Bianco (freshmen roommate at Steubenville, they still get together and challenge each other on business and prayer, etc/ Taught him about the virtue of magnanimity)
God is constantly working to bring the best out of what we do. If we aren’t willing to take risks for the Kingdom, then God can’t do big things with you. It hasn’t always been easy following His decision, but God has been faithful. Give everything radically to Jesus Christ!
Tim mentions the movie, Rounders. “You can’t lose what you don’t put in the middle. But you can’t win much either.”
Cast out into the deep…”What if we lose our nets?” We’re called to greatness, not mediocrity.
Andrew’s three takeaways:
- Mission is risk. You just have to jump and I’ll put water in the pool on the way down.
- The ability of young people who want to make a difference in the Church is dependent on their ability to fundraise. To have good funding, you have to have proper fundraising principles. You have to invest in it, do the work, and learn the skills
- Magna – big
- Animas – soul and spirit
- Virtue of being great of mind and of heart. Encompasses a refusal to be petty and a willingness to face danger and actions for noble purposes.
- If we are called to be magnanimous, we have to be willing to take risks and also lift other up
Andrew’s Action Item:
- This week, look at your database and identify 25 consistent donors. Figure out what level they are giving at. Think of a level increase for them. Schedule a meeting with them. Meet. And ask for at least $100/month.
Giving to religious causes vastly exceeds any other category in the nonprofit sector, but faith-based organizations often struggle the most with fundraising effectively. Join Andrew Robison, President of Petrus Development, as he explores this topic through honest and revealing conversations with church leaders, executive directors and development professionals from the nonprofit community.