Where does the name come from?
Project Timothy derives its name from the relationship of St. Paul to St. Timothy. St. Paul evangelized and equipped St. Timothy to evangelize others. This model is rooted in 2 Timothy 2:2: “What you have heard from me, entrust to faithful people who will be able to teach others.” This process of forming others to form others is called “spiritual multiplication.”
When did Project Timothy (PT) start?
In the spring of 2012. The Adult Evangelization & Discipleship Office recruited recommended Catholic Christian Outreach (CCO) alumni and invited them, with their pastor’s approval, to begin leading prospective leaders at their parish through the CCO materials. Initially, there were six participating parishes.
Where is it happening now?
In these ten parishes, with several leaders from new parishes planning to start in the fall of 2015.
How many people are involved?
At present, there are around 20 dedicated leaders who are leading small groups through Faith Studies starting fall of 2014. Many of the participants in these small groups are prospective leaders, sent by their pastors, to receive formation in order that they can start it at their parish in 2015.
What is required of the pastor?
Beyond of course approving the project and recommending a leader from his parish to begin it, Project Timothy is deliberately not burdensome to pastors. Support and training is provided by the
Adult Evangelization & Discipleship Office and volunteer leaders. The pastor’s encouragement to his leaders is always important, but it’s designed to be lay led.
What is the weekly time commitment?
As a participant, about 1 hour a week for the Faith Study. Weekly “challenges” are simple and not time-consuming.
As a Faith Study leader, about 3 hours a week for Study prep and leading the Study.
As a mentor of Faith Study leaders, about 2 hours a week for check-in phone calls.
How much does it cost?
Very little. Every leader needs a $7 Leader’s Guide for each of the four Faith Studies per year, and these can be reused in future. Participants will need to pay $7 for their Study Guides. The three large group events per year may involve a small fee for food and materials.
Are the small groups for men and women?
Indeed! We connected Project Timothy with the men’s conference follow-up initiative in 2013, but it’s intended for men and women. Most small group leaders find gender-specific groups, however, at least in the first few Faith Studies, to work better. This is because the Faith Study material can get very personal, dealing with core spiritual matters, and group discussion is a vital part of the method. Ultimately, it’s the pastor’s and Faith Study leader’s call how they want to approach this.
How are new leaders trained and supported?
First of all, all leaders have gone through the Faith Studies, and so have first hand experience of what they are like. When they lead studies, we have a simple method where leaders “check-in” with a mentor leader every two weeks or so during their Faith Study, via telephone. This, together with user-friendly Faith Study Leader Guides, free online training at leadingdiscovery.ca, and 3 large group events during the year, provides them with the support needed to be effective.
Who directs Project Timothy?
The Adult Evangelization & Discipleship Office, together with a four-person volunteer executive team of current and past CCO leaders and a priest, coordinates the overall effort, with Kyle Neilson as Director. God willing, as it develops in parishes, we want to empower leaders at the parish level to take on more responsibility for this Project.