For the past few weeks – and perhaps for the next few months – we are all going to be dealing with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Everyone – EVERYONE – is being impacted in one way or another.
As a result of this difficult situation, people are being challenged in many ways – ways that rock them to their core. Consider things like:
- Dealing with the declining health of family members
- Feelings of isolation as we avoid the physical-social contact to which we have become accustomed
- Loss or reduction in income because some can no longer work
- Increased risk to healthcare workers as they go to work to care for others
- Depleting inventory on grocery store shelves as people race to “stock up” against a perceived long-term crisis
- AND PERHAPS THE BIGGEST – Not knowing whom – or what – to believe when it comes to sorting out the facts of what is really going on.
In the face of all these things and more – pastors, church leaders, and church congregations are, in many respects, finding themselves ill-equipped to effectively deal with the pandemic and to be able to minister to the needs of their congregations and the communities in which they exist.
- Pastors are being over-burdened with the needs of their flocks
- Churches are facing logistical and technical challenges in trying to establish an online ministry presence
- Leadership teams are struggling to effectively plan, communicate, and execute a vision for both the short and longer term
- Finances to cope with the needs are short and many churches lack online giving platforms
All of this sounds pretty negative, right? Yes, it does, but I am not an alarmist – I am an optimistic realist. I believe with all my heart that God is in control and that we, as Christians and as a nation, have the ability to come out of this stronger than we came in. In order to do so, however, we need to stay plugged into God and His word – and we need to use the skills he has uniquely gifted us with.
IF we do this, the church will grow during this time of crisis – the church will explode when the crisis is over – and we will see revival in our nation and around the world.
So what do we need to be doing right now?
Pastors cannot function alone or in isolation. They need to develop and fine-tune their leadership teams throughout this crisis. Unfortunately, many pastors are not equipped with the experience or the tools to guide and train their volunteer teams. They need outside help in the form of a trained, capable coach to guide them through the process of:
- Creating a faith-based, dynamic vision for both the short- and long-term aspects of their ministries.
- Identifying the organizational and operational gaps that currently exist and developing plans to close those gaps. This involves understanding the dynamics of human behavior and communication styles.
- Creating a solid platform to communicate with and meet the needs of parishioners.
- Engaging with the community to provide practical support and to effectively minister to the needs of the community.
God has given us a tremendous opportunity to use this pandemic to create a strong, dynamic platform for reaching millions of people around the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Let’s make sure that we are not wasting this chance to honor God in all we do!