Revitalization Pivots In A Changing Culture

Carrying on in a pivoting culture may be somewhat challenging. There are a few pivots that the church revitalizer needs to pay attention to and anticipate in these coming years. This list is not exhaustive. I go more into this in my book. However, You will find in ministry that some pivots will take you completely by surprise. You may face other pivots like illness, death, family situations and pressures, natural disasters, problems in your marriage. These are just a few that were revealed during recent events in history and culture and that will probably continue to be areas that church revitalizers will deal with in the future.

1. TECHNOLOGY: A church revitalizer needs to navigate technological pivots. Online church is here to stay. The COVID-19 global pandemic changed how we do church forever. We are now seeing more churches online than ever before. Digital connection is vital to the health and sustainability of the local church. Many pastors and churches are finding themselves being pushed into a digital reality faster than they feel comfortable with. Digital is the wave of the future, and the church of the 1950s is now considered outdated and obsolete. New is not better, it’s just different. Digital pivots have been some of the toughest to maneuver. Follow my good friend @JeffReed to learn more about digital discipleship.

2. STAFFING: A church revitalizer needs to navigate staffing pivots. People come and go in your ministry life and staffing pivots must be navigated. The people you start with are probably not going to be the people you end with. Staff come and go for different reasons. Many churches have found themselves reshuffling the deck and replacing staff and leaders. The push for rapid change has stretched the capacity of many leaders, and sadly, some were not able to sustain. A church revitalizer must understand the capacity of their leaders and train them to maneuver the pace and pivots of ministry and be ready to adjust to a shift in staff.

3. HEALTH: A church revitalizer needs to navigate health pivots. The COVID-19 global pandemic has brought our health and wellness to the forefront of discussion. Pastors are having to navigate significant health crises, and we are often having to have conversations about death. Immobilization and isolation are also causing significant physical and mental health concerns. Unhealthy behaviors, attitudes, and actions are on the rise, and these behaviors have seeped their way into the church. Pastors and churches are going to have to biblically address physical and mental wellness, addiction, inactivity, and poor eating habits. A church revitalizer must rethink ways to connect people back to physical, mental, and spiritual health.

A church revitalizer needs to navigate relational pivots. We are living in an age of high tech and low touch. People are craving authentic relationships. A significant pivot for the church in quarantine or out of quarantine is to create multiple ways for people to connect. This pandemic has ushered in changes that have affected the church environments we love so much. We have grown socially distanced and isolated, spending less time physically together. In a masked society, we have even lost our physical identity and the ability to be recognized by others. This loss of connection has caused significant problems in society. A church revitalizer must help people build relationships and teach them how to work hard at keeping them. City United Church does a good job at connecting in New England where isolation can happen because of winter. This may mean creating smaller and more intimate gatherings. Online connections will never be able to replace a face-to-face connection, and the challenge we face is helping people authentically connect in a digital world. Connection is a must, not a maybe.

You must be ready and available for God to change your plans and redirect you. During these pivots remember that the kingdom we are involved in building is not our personal kingdom. It’s God’s. It is up to Him how He wants to build it.

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