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The Called Manifesto: Back to Community

We are more connected, but more alone than ever before.

How did we get here?

The world today isn’t what it was 100 or even 20 years ago. 

Families and communities used to be tightly knit. Most families lived and worked in the same place. People relied on each other for support and social interaction was easy because there wasn’t anything impeding normal everyday connection.

Most importantly, communities were centered around Christian principles and values. Our relationships and communities were grounded in the Truth and we were better off because of it.

However, in a matter of a few generations, war, technological advancement, and major cultural shifts have drastically changed how we live our lives. 

Since the industrial revolution, we’ve seen the creation of things like the car and airplane; modern financial systems, the rise of the internet and social media, now artificial intelligence, and very soon a trip to Mars (thanks Elon).

But what we’ve got in return isn’t what most of us were expecting. 

With the rise of factories and the need for workers in the early 20th century, people left their farms and small towns to move to cities. The traditional family structure broke down. People were no longer living and working together as a unit. Not only that but the means of production and commerce were quickly concentrated into the hands of a few. This slow deterioration of the family and local communities quickly led to a lack of morality and recognition of our need for God in daily life. 

Not only was the family destroyed and relationships disrupted—Christianity, the Catholic faith in particular, equally took a hit. 

Fast forward to now, the rise of consumer culture has left us with extreme individualism and a focus on personal success over community values. Ideology is running rampant and Atheism is trending. 

No wonder why we lack true, authentic communities today and have no idea how to get them back. 

The answer to our extreme isolation and individualism is to rebuild communities from the ground up.

We need to rally groups of individuals who share values core to their identities (in this case, the Catholic Faith) and are pursuing a goal together (i.e. Heaven). 

But first, here’s what we’re up against. 

The Trust Dilemma

“...behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat.” (Luke 22:31)

The Enemy wants nothing more than for The Church and all of humanity to be fragmented, separated, and its members isolated and alone. 

Technology that promised to connect us, has made our divisions more apparent than ever. Progress that we were told would lead to human flourishing, has left us with new pandemics of mental health, isolation, and loneliness. Man is naturally a social being, and the consequences of denying that are in our faces. 

Think about it this way… 

We can access information and individuals across the globe at the click of a button. Yet, people are more isolated and less connected than ever before. 

This is especially true in the Church. We show up every Sunday, and it’s as if it’s a competition to see who is first to get to the parking lot after communion. But it’s worse than that. People are leaving the Church in droves and are affiliating with organized religion less and less. 

The latest Pew Research religious survey showed that those who self-identify as Catholic have decreased from 23.9 to 20.8 percent of the US population (source).

This survey took place in 2014, but more recent data indicate that the Covid Pandemic has made this situation even worse. 


Not to mention, people are over institutions. Particularly young people (Ages 18-40). Governments, corporations, and churches are all suspect and completely discredited. 

Trust is gone. 

Yet, we need others. We are made for relationships and community. We thrive when surrounded by people who have our best interests at heart, who we share values with, and who we are pursuing a common goal with. 

In a time when faith is irrelevant to most, relationships are disrupted, and trust in institutions is lacking, a concerted effort to re-evangelize by rebuilding communities is the only way forward.

What Community Isn’t

But first, here’s what community isn’t:

*Having 1,000 friends on social media and getting hundreds of likes with every new post. 

*Sending people emails and communications about various events or updates.

*Organizing a bunch of random people and doing random activities together.

Those are simply byproducts of different activities. 

It’s way deeper than that. 

What Community Is

A community is… 

“a group of people who share an identity and a mutual concern for one another's welfare.”

Did you catch that? 

Those things in the last section aren’t a community (per se) because they are only activities that a group of people might engage in. 

Community is fundamentally about identity and concern for others. 

A large social media following isn’t a community because there is no concern for a particular individual or an individual's general welfare (generally speaking). The same can be said about a group of people who are sporadically organized but lack a true mission or collective identity. 

This is where authenticity comes in. Authenticity is a byproduct of another caring for you because they actually know you. 

Technology can enable people in meaningful (not perfect) ways to create a shared identity, foster concern for others, and build authenticity among them—even if done through pixels. 

Our Beliefs

At Called, we have five guiding beliefs that underpin what we do and how we do it. We're Catholics living in the world and know the difficulties that lay ahead for future generations, apart from simply rebuilding communities. 

These beliefs aren't politically motivated, as much as they are by a recognition of the root problems, as we see them, in the Church and society. 

We believe...

  1. We are in a trust revolution.

    Most major institutions, including the institutional Church, have failed or are failing us.

  2. We as a Church must reach out as people, not as an institution.

    It's time to reclaim the lost art of "being my brother's keeper" and forging lasting relationships.

  3. We need to stop training to defend the faith. Instead, train to proclaim.

    Apologetics is good and necessary. But the vast majority of the world doesn't know the Gospel, including those who oppose the faith most vehemently. 

  4. Culture comes from the Church, not the State.

    The State will never be a promoter of right worship, charity, and the common good. That's the Church and Her member's job.

  5. The Church can survive without the state. The State cannot survive without the Church.

    Society crumbles without a religious foundation, a foundation founded on the truth.

Our Mission

Called empowers ministry leaders to evangelize effectively by building thriving groups, communities, and parishes.

The internet and social media are here to stay, there is no changing that. As the Church, we have a responsibility to use them wisely and as vehicles to share the Gospel. Souls are already using both, and wherever souls are, the Church must also be. 

But we must address the elephant in the room: we are more divided, isolated, and alone than ever before—in large part because of the impersonal nature of the internet and social media. 

We haven’t integrated our “digital” lives with our real lives. Often, we act as if we prefer digital relationships over in-person ones. 

But times are changing.

People are fed up with their relationships being disrupted, with algorithms dominating what they see, and ultimately our overall lack of time spent with the people they care about most. This doesn’t mean the answer is an all-out rejection of technology—that’s unrealistic at this point. People will still use technology, but instead of allowing it to run their lives, they will use it to serve what matters most. 

The truth is we’re meant for real connection, not more likes and followers. 

Called exists to bridge the gap between a life that exists digitally and one that is material; a life that is pixelated, and a life that is tangible. We give ministry leaders the knowledge and tools to harness technology to facilitate deeper, more authentic, in-person connections & form disciples who are on fire for Christ and His Church. 

Here’s how we do it.

What We Offer

Called helps ministry leaders achieve their mission of forming disciples in 3 ways:

  1. Building digital tools that enable effective communication, organization, and conversation all in one place (i.e. Called app). 
  2. Providing education on best practices for evangelization, building communities, and communicating—all using technology. 
  3. Connecting leaders with leaders to share and learn from each other on what works and doesn’t work via our digital community on Called.



Our philosophy is simple:

We strive to use what exists in the created world to facilitate a greater relationship with God and those around us, keeping subsidiarity as the guiding principle. 

We must focus on the most local level if we want to share the Gospel through relationships and community. 

Instead of building technology that is made to keep your eyes glued to a screen or monetize your attention, we exist for an inherently good purpose

to build real Christian communities once again. 

Our goal is to use digital technology to build local groups that transform local communities that convert entire societies

This is the foundation for all we do at Called.