I recently had lunch with a friend of mine, Ennie Hickman of the Hickman Family and Adore Ministries here in Houston. Besides playing catch up in each other's lives, we spent a lot of the time asking questions and thinking crazy thoughts about what would make ministry- especially youth and young adult ministry- better, more effective, more lasting. This was primarily a conversation about dreaming and, to steal the cliche, "thinking outside of the box."
The "box" in this case was parish-based ministries.
Why the Box may not be enough. As the priest crisis continues in the U.S. we are seeing nervous bishops doing some extreme things to keep their churches in order, sometimes making very unpopular decisions, like closing and consolidating churches. With fewer priests to go around, the Church is tasking deacons to take over more priestly functions. Rising also in this environment is lay ministry, people from the pews getting theology degrees and pastoral training in order fill in the gaps. There are an explosion of national organizations that are there to assist weary pastors in their work of evangelization and catechesis.