Recommendation for Leadership

Questions? Contact Jane Schmitz, Parish Director, 952-405-7238, or jschmitz@paxchristi.com.

Leadership Definition

Leadership at Pax Christi is setting direction that defines and meets the parish mission and vision and influencing others to follow that direction.

Leadership is related to discipleship.  Through Baptism, all, regardless of age, are called to discipleship.  We are disciples of Jesus and we are expected to provide Christian support and witness to others.

As disciples, all are called to use their gifts in service to others; many will use them in service to this community through one of the parish ministries; some will serve this community and use their gifts as members of the Community Council or a ministry council.  We also use our gifts outside the community in numerous ways.

Servant Leadership

There are many leadership styles, but Servant Leadership is the prevailing mode of leadership.  Jesus is our example of the greatest servant leader.

Jesus said to his disciples, “You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them.  But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must become the slave of all.”  Mark 10:42-44

After washing the disciples’ feet, Jesus said, “Do you know what I have done to you?  You call me Teacher and Lord – and you are right, for that is what I am.  So if I, your Lord and teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.  For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.” John 13:12-15

The servant-leader is servant first, rather than leader first.  Some of the characteristics of the servant leader are: someone who makes certain that other people’s highest priority needs are being served; someone who wants those served to grow as persons, becoming healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, and more likely themselves to become servants; someone who sees the effect of actions on the least privileged in society:  will they benefit or at least not be further deprived?


Why would someone want to take on a leadership position on one of these Pax Christi councils?


1. In the call to be a disciple of Jesus Christ and a steward of everything God has given you, you may feel called to give of your time and talent to help set a direction for the work of the community.

2. Your participation in helping the community grow into the future is important and you can give input as to how we get there.

3. Council membership is a personal opportunity to learn and grow, develop faith, and strengthen relationships with other members.

4. Engagement on a leadership level can be a fulfilling experience.


There are 4 areas of information:

1. Gifts - People bring their individual gifts to leadership, so it is helpful to know what your gifts are and how they apply to a leadership role.

2. Basic Council Skills – Our councils use certain leadership/management skills, such as consensus decision making, good communication, conflict resolution, and discernment in discussion and as decisions are made.  

3. Community - In order to be a leader in this community, a person needs to understand the mission, values, and vision of this community.

4. Faith - We are a faith community.  In order to be a leader in this faith community, a person needs to have a basic knowledge of the Catholic faith.


Ministry Council Member Eligibility

1. Understands, accepts, and is willing to operate within Pax Christi’s Vision and the vision of the Ministry Area.

2. Is a registered member of Pax Christi Catholic Community who has received the Sacrament of Confirmation and worships with the parish community on a regular basis.

3. Supports Pax Christi through active stewardship (active ministry, volunteering, financial giving, etc.).

4. Demonstrates commitment to a minimum level of active participation in the Ministry Council (attending and participating in meetings, etc.)

5. Staff members of Pax Christi shall not be eligible for membership on any Ministry Council, but shall become eligible twelve (12) months after termination of their employment.

6. For the Finance Council, at least one-half of the Ministry Council community members must have a background in accounting, finance, banking, or related fields.

7. Understands and accepts the role of parish lay leadership as advisory to the Pastor.


In order to broaden community representation in the Ministry Councils and/or avoid potential conflicts of interest, the following conditions are to be met:

1. The spouse or “significant other” of a Staff Person may not serve on the same Ministry Council as the Staff Person, but is free to serve on a committee of such Ministry Council or to serve as a member of any other Ministry Council.

2. Community members may not serve successive terms on any Ministry Council or the Community Council

3. No more than one member of an immediate family may serve on the Community Council at the same time.  If two members of an immediate family are serving as the Chairs of two Ministry Councils, those persons shall determine between themselves which of them shall sit on the Community Council.   



Expectations of Council Membership

1. Use of the “Servant Leadership” Model

2. Time commitment: Councils meet once a month from August through June.  Meetings are usually the third Tuesday of the month from 6:30 – 8:30pm.  (Members of the Community Council meet from 5:30 – 6:25pm.) Meetings include prayer and dinner together.

        Membership requires attendance of at least 75% of Council meetings.

        Council members are also expected to attend:
        - 2 Saturday mornings for ongoing formation and growth, one in the fall and one during Lent  

        - Involvement in the discernment process while on the council: 3 dates that need council member attendance and can be divided among members

        - Ministry Fair weekend (Fall)

        - Ecumenical Thanksgiving service (Nov)

        - Community Nights when possible

        There may be additional meetings if you agree to do (sub)committee work.
        Other Leadership Seminars may be offered.

3. Commitment to ongoing formation and education about your faith and about the ministry area of your council.

4. See the chart on the next page for more ideas of expected characteristics and behavior of council members.

Typical Leadership Night Schedule

 5:30pm  Community Council meets
 6:25pm  Community Council adjourns
 6:30pm  All meet in the chapel for prayer
 6:45pm  Dinner together in Dorothy Day Hall
 7:20pm  Adjourn for individual council meetings
 8:20pm  Conclude meetings and go to chapel for prayer


Becoming a Member

We do not elect (decision of the parishioners) or appoint (decision of the pastor) council members.  Discernment uses “self-selection.”  Through prayer, trust, learning, and listening, you will decide if you should be a council member.  Spiritual discernment is the process of making a decision about your life with the help of the Holy Spirit.  It is the process of discovering God’s will for you.

There are four steps to the process:
• Step 1: Getting in touch with yourself – know your likes and dislikes, your fears and your dreams, your hopes and your interests, your gifts and your limitations.  Get to know your level of commitment, what kind of leadership you respond to, and your time availability

• Step 2: Inviting God, and the Spirit into your life.  Taking time to listen to God and to be honest with God.  Letting God reveal preferences for you at this stage in your life

• Step 3: Discerning with others.  Understanding their desires, gifts, limitations, etc…  Ultimately, discovering together who is “right” for the position at this time

• Step 4: The decision-making process itself.  This is a self-selection process.  You and the others that gather will decide who will serve in the open positions at Commitment Night.
 
(If there are too few openings for the number of people who would like to be members, the discernment process will continue that night until council membership reaches the desired number.)
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Pax Christi Catholic Community

12100 Pioneer Trail
Eden Prairie, MN 55347

952-941-3150

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