“Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

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Project Timothy

Project Timothy is a small-group evangelization initiative, begun by the Adult Evangelization & Discipleship Office in 2012, which uses the proven materials of Catholic Christian Outreach (CCO) in a parish setting.  In it, groups of 4-6 participants take a series of CCO Faith Studies which proclaim the Gospel and invite conversion, equip them to be disciples, and then commission them to “multiply” by evangelizing and equipping others to evangelize. Project Timothy is currently present in over 25 parishes.

How does it work?

Proclaim – Equip – Commission

New participants are invited to begin a 9-month formation process described below.  The following year, with their pastor’s approval, some are invited to become leaders of the same process, or are simply encouraged to continue evangelizing in the ordinary circumstances of their lives. Those who continue as leaders in Project Timothy, supported by regular phone calls with a mentor, user-friendly Leader Guides, and free online training, participate in the exciting process of “spiritual multiplication” – investing in a few who can then go on to invest in a few, who invest in a few, and so on. Through its person-to-person approach, the simplicity of Faith Study materials, and above all reliance on the Holy Spirit, over time we pray that many, both inside and outside our parishes, will be reached with the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Here are the steps in the annual cycle:

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Step 1: Proclaim

Participants take 6-week Discovery Faith Study, in which they discover the basic Gospel message and encounter Christ, starting the third week of September, 2015.

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Step 2: Equip

Participants take 6-week Source Faith Study, on the role of the Holy Spirit in the Christian life starting early November and ending before Christmas.

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Step 3: Equip

Participants attend one-day Growth retreat, on basic elements of spiritual growth. Scheduled for Saturday, Jan 9, 2016

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Step 4: Practicum

Participants invited to lead 6-week Discovery Faith Study during Lent at their parish in 2016.

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Step 5: Commission

Participants take 10-week Commission Faith Study, which provides them with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to be effective evangelizers.  This study will begin during the Easter season.

FAQ

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.