Ministry Journey Blog

Thoughts on Ministry

21 Apr

3 Big Things Ministry Leaders Need to Consider in the Midst of Covid-19

Posted in Uncategorized on 21.04.20 by Merlyn

Covid-19 has quickly changed the world in unprecedented ways, especially the church. While parts of the pandemic and its implications are not unprecedented, many are, especially in the past 100 years.

As I continue to reflect on Covid-19, the church and ministry, there are three big things that all ministry leaders need to consider in the midst of Covid-19.

Corporate Grief is a Different Beast

Grief is always difficult and is most often a rather strange beast. While we are accustomed in ministry to dealing with individual grief and even moments of community grief, we have little to no real experience with corporate grief. Perhaps our only experience is from September 11. The primary emotion that we are experiencing with Covid-19 is in fact grief. Grief is not limited to loss of life, it is the real or perceived loss of anything. Covid-19 has brought a lot of loss: security, certainty, economic loss, relational loss, loss of routine, loss of freedom. For the first time in or memory, the entire country, the entire world is experiencing simultaneous, daily, corporate grief. This requires a different approach and is an issue that all ministry leaders will have to deal with. How will you address corporate grief?

Crisis Always Presents Challenges AND Opportunities

“Don’t waste a good crisis.” Donald Miller. In any crisis there are both challenges and opportunities. Its critical to name the challenges, but to focus on the opportunities. As followers of Jesus, we believe in redemption, the idea that God is making all things new. In any crisis, God makes good of it. As leaders, it is our job to make sure that we see the challenges for what they are, yet recognize there is no challenge that we can ever face that cannot be conquered by God, that there is no challenge that will be the end of us. Culturally, we tend to focus on the bad, the shortcomings and not consider the blessings, the gifts, the opportunities. Great leaders name the challenges, but they point to hope. Great leaders look for the opportunities and partner with God to leverage them for good. What are the challenges for you and those you lead in the midst of Covid-19? What are the opportunities presented to you and those you lead in the midst of this crisis?

The Old Normal is Gone – A New Normal Will Emerge

A lot of leaders, especially those in the church will be tempted to claw their way back to normal as the restrictions and crisis subside. This is naive at best, delusional and selfish at worse. The old normal is going and it is not coming back. This season of crisis is a season of transition. Just for the record, transition sucks. While a new normal will emerge, it doesn’t mean everything changes. At the same time, we will not have as much control over the new normal as we would like to think. We also cannot stick our heads in the sand and hope that it will go away. “Crisis is the cradle of innovation. Crisis challenges your methods, but it can give new life to your mission.” Carey Nieuwhof. Much of what will change is our methods. We tend to worship our methods, often at the cost of our mission, especially in crisis. As leaders, we need to be looking to and for the new normal and reflect on how we can achieve our mission in the new normal. We need to be willing to change our method for the sake of our mission. Now, more than in our lifetime, we have less certainty and clarity about what the new normal might look like, but that does not mean we cannot begin to think, examine and reflect. Are you thinking about, reflecting on and preparing for the new normal?

The ministry I lead, Preparing for Amazement Ministries is leading some free open forums on these topics. You can learn more here.

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