The 'Mindset List' - Catholic Courier

The ‘Mindset List’

For the past 12 years Beloit College has released the

Mindset List

to its faculty and staff to help them better understand and serve the incoming first-year students. It can be an eye-opening (and sometimes depressing) experience! This year the list includes such tidbits as "few in the class know how to write cursive" and "DNA fingerprinting and maps of the human genome have always existed" for them. Over the years I have shared the Mindset List with campus ministers to help them connect with their incoming students. Since colleges have a yearly turnover, and since every four years the entire student body changes, campus ministers must always seek out and connect with new students and inspire other students to do the same.

Of course, since so many people now move on a regular basis, especially to follow jobs to different parts of a city or different cities all together, our parishes also have a high rate of people coming in and leaving over time. In fact, the average American will move 14 times in his or her lifetime. While our parishes can seem to be unchanging communities, in reality there can be huge population shifts. If the members of our communities who do stay for any length of time recognize that fact, then we all have a better chance of reaching out to those who are looking for a faith home.

To effectively reach out, though, means to take some time to understand who we are meeting. Using tools like the Mindset List can certainly help, but nothing compares to actually going out to meet new people in our larger communities, listen to their experiences and share our own. This is how we begin to evangelize, this is how we stay vibrant, and this is how we transform ourselves and our communities.

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