FOUR KEY SHIFTS FOR THE POST-COVID CHURCH

Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

There are continual pressures when leading the post-COVID church. For many, leading during this season has been unsettling; however, this season can be embraced with a positive mindset. It can be rewarding. A positive perspective can be the bridge to a ministry’s future. Unfortunately, many leaders are missing their next steps in knowing how to lead and what needs to be the priority. The first Church was simple in approach, so why do we continue to make church difficult today. Here are some fundamental shifts your ministry can make right now to bring vitality into your church during this season.

  • Emphasize disciple making, not program making. Make sure you know the difference between Bible study and discipleship. Bible studies and programs are good, but they are not what we are called to do. Attending classes and getting smarter is not the goal. Remember Jesus’ last command before He left this earth. He said, “Go and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19-20). The Church needs to get back to the process of obedience-based transformation rather than educational-based information. One organization that does this well is The Timothy Initiative. Their model of disciple making is simple, effective, and reproducible. Challenge your church to make Jesus’ last command their first concern.

  • Make community a priority, not an option. In Acts 2:42, we see that community was the way of life for the first church. No one operated outside of the local community unless they were cursed. Unfortunately, we have moved from a “front porch” to a “back deck” society, and little genuine community is happening during one of the most isolating times in history. As the leader, you must fight for community in your church. When you have a powerful community, you will have strong unity (2 Corinthians 8:3-5), and strong unity ultimately brings strength and vitality to the church in tough seasons. Teach your church that they need one another.

  • Develop leaders, not followers. You may think you do not have enough leaders in your church. But everyone is leading somewhere, whether it’s in their job, family, home, or social network. Find out where your people are leading and invite them into a conversation to help them grow in their leadership and lead in the church. Provide ways for people to give themselves to others and their church. This will cause them to move past a self-preservation lifestyle to one of self-sacrifice for the cause of Christ. Then encourage them to lead efforts for the greater good in the community and invite the church to be part of it. These movements can be acts of service like supporting food pantries, serving at shelters, moving parties, serving families with new babies in the community, or drive-by birthday parties. The list is endless and is only limited by the creativity of the people in your church. Release your people to lead in their passions and circles of influence to meet the needs of your community for God’s glory.

  • Be you, not a copycat. You and your church are unique. In the renewal process, avoid copying other’s renewal efforts and instead begin listening, discerning, and responding to the Lord’s leading through the Holy Spirit. Let God show you what steps to take. You and your church must face the current realities of your ministry in this season. Remember, truth is not the enemy. Spend some time in authentic reflection on the present state of your church, what is going well, and what needs to change. Look at your church for what it is and what it is currently doing to sustain, then determine what next steps you need to take to speak into the surrounding brokenness. Most churches do not know what’s happening in their back yards because they spend too much time in their own parking lot. Focus on being the pastor and church God wants you to be and fulfill your unique call in the zip code you’ve been called to.

    These simple shifts can help refocus you and your people and get them to dream about what could be. Use this season to challenge, teach, release, and focus your people on what God has next for your church in this season. 

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