You know the saying,
When times are good, business is good. When times are bad, business is better.
Well, here at Journey to Orthodoxy, things are hopping more now than ever before. We receive new inquiries daily – DAILY, and since our primary goal is to connect the inquirer to local Orthodox Christians and parishes in their area, I am just inundated. Frankly, I can’t keep up on my own anymore. I need help.
What we are starting a Journey to Orthodoxy Network of Captains who can take some of these referrals from us, and connect them locally either to their own parishes, or to local parishes where they can be assured of a friendly and welcome reception by flesh-and-blood Orthodox Christians.
To start – Clergy (deacons and priests)
Any deacon or priest of a canonical Orthodox jurisdiction in good standing. The reason for starting with clergy I hope would be obvious – it is much easier to determine if a clergyman is legitimate than a layperson. Most clergy have parishes, and this makes deciding what parish to direct them to easier also. If they are too far from your parish, then knowing the local clergy becomes a great advantage, as you will be able to direct them to the best location for a good experience, and good contacts.
Once a base network is established, opening up the Network to dedicated laypeople will be much easier. Clergy will not be responsible for overseeing Network Lay Captains. We’ll handle that on our end.
The willingness to act quickly to reach out to an inquirer, assure them that they haven’t been forgotten, and offer them a friendly and welcoming parish to attend and make contact with. We would like emails to go out within 24 hours, 48 at the most. If we send an inquirer to a Network Captain on Monday, we want that inquirer contacted on or before Tuesday. Obviously, weekend contacts can wait until Monday, if necessary.
This is absolutely essential. In the past, we have received promises of help that turned into nothing, with some inquirers still not contacted after 3 weeks! This cannot happen. This is why we need your help.
What we will provide
Training – yes training. You’ll be invited to participate in a JTO Network webinar/training session so you know what to do, and how to do it, without spending endless hours answering questions that frankly don’t need to be answered by you. And yes, you’ll have to pass a test afterwards. Once that is out of the way, you can expect your name and desired contact information to appear on an online interactive map (identifying your city, but not street address), and we will begin sending you contacts when they are in your area. It is our hope that the area you are responsible for will shrink as the Network grows.
Materials – most of the questions we answer here are the same 20-25 questions that almost everyone has. We have succinct, theologically nuanced answers prepared already for these, making it much easier to answer basic questions with consistency and ease. This will also provide a base of apologetic material for more in depth conversation, should it be necessary (which normally it would not).
Checklist – a basic checklist of what comes next for every contact that is sent to you. You’ll always know what to do next, and in what order. After hundreds of inquirers now Orthodox Christians, we have taken the guesswork out of it.
We are trying to take the guesswork out of receiving new members into the Orthodox faith, by connecting inquirers quickly to local parishes, local clergy, and local Orthodox Christians.
Are you willing to help? Are you ready to put some skin in the game? Are you ready to do some truly Apostolic work?