It’s March, 2020 and we are in the middle of a pandemic. Not just here, in the U.S., the entire World is in the middle of a pandemic. Last night, California’s Governor, Gavin Newsom, announced the “stay home” order to “bend the curve” in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus. I’m sure other states will follow suit.
Not only has this pandemic shaken the world, it’s divided the church! There have been two camps:
Camp 1. You should NEVER close “the church” and I don’t care if the CDC and “the Government” are urging all Americans to practice social distancing and to not have any groups over 10-THE CHURCH STAYS OPEN!
Camp 2. It’s our (the church) duty to lead by example and keep our parishioners safe and to help prevent the spread of this virus.
Many of my Pastor friends have been stressing over what to do in order to keep their congregations AND their families safe. No one’s been through anything like this pandemic before!
The one thing that is VERY clear and that is we are forced to face the reality that our current way to “have church” is antiquated and we MUST change the way we worship and manage our churches. As a Pastoral Strategist and Health Coach for Ministry Leaders, this is something I see often but now, the world is witnessing our inadequacies. Here are 3 effective ways that Pastors can implement today to move their church forward. You know, into the 21st century.
1. Establish Small Groups/Teams
In the African Methodist Episcopal Church, we have class leaders. There are other denominations that offer similar concepts, BUT they are inactive. This is the perfect time to revisit and revamp the small group concept. Small groups are actually a way to keep millennials engaged.
2. Get Online
Listen, if your church isn’t online in some sort of capacity, you are 20 years behind. Everything is online!!! If your church can’t function effectively in this current online climate, it’s time to meet with your leaders, develop a strategy and create a plan TODAY to get your church online. There’re a plethora of online platforms that you can use to stream your services, have virtual meetings and even accept online offerings. There’s just no excuse to not join the land of the living…ONLINE LIVING!
3. Get Some Help
Pastor, listen….you can’t do this alone. Small groups will actually help with this, but if small groups are not an avenue for your church, you can still seek out some assistance. If you don’t have an assistant, find a virtual assistant on Upwork. You can talk to your fellow colleagues who are members of another denomination to bounce ideas off of. You can also hire a Pastoral Strategist (like me) to help GET YOU ALL TOGETHER 🙂
We are all in this together and instead of looking at what we CAN’T do, let’s focus on what we CAN do and what we can learn from this. Need more inspiration? Go back and read John 6:1-14.
How has your church handled this COVID-19 pandemic? Let me know in the comments.