Tag: COVID

What’s the Word Wednesday

If sight dictates your hope, the enemy will ensure you see something that steals your faith.

– Stephen Chandler, Lead Pastor at Destiny Church

Satan knows what buttons to push to make us sin or to be tempted. Live by faith and not by site.  The enemy’s goal is to destroy you and if he can’t destroy you, the second best thing he can do is distract you. We’re living in a time that’s very distracting – COVID, schools meeting or going virtual, churches requiring masks or not meeting. There are so many things that are going on that have got us distracted and it’s exactly where Satan wants us. Live by faith and not by site – don’t let the enemy steal your hope!

John 10:10 NIV

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. 

Looking for a new position? Stop by MinistryJobs.com and have a look at the jobs that are available! Ministry jobs are hard to come by and job hunting is no fun. We help ministry job seekers find their ideal role in their next ministry – for free! More than 6 million search for a job every day. Be found! Looking to list a job or an open position? We help churches and organizations get job openings in front of potential candidates. We have several plans and packages available. Today is the day!

Redeploying Staff or High-Level Leaders During COVID-19

COVID-19 has meant lots of change for your church. One issue you may be facing is redeploying staff. So, how do you reassign and redeploy staff and high-level leaders who can no longer do the job they were previously assigned? 

Effective and Essential Ministry

Right now you have to identify and categorize what needs to be realigned in your church. And you have to be able to navigate different phases of ministry to a new normal. Here is a tool you can use again and again as you cycle through the coming changes.

Consider these two areas:

  1. Essential. Why does your church exist? What is the essential ministry of your church? In a time like this, we don’t need fourteen different ministries vying for resources to do one essential ministry. Focus on one or two ministries that do the work best during this season and realign staff within those essential ministries.
  2. Effective. If the ministry is not considered an essential ministry of the church and it’s not effective, stop doing it. If the ministry is not essential, but it is effective, you can consider shifting resources away from it to what is more strategic. If the ministry is essential, but it is not yet effective, you have to strategize around it and realign your people and resources to stabilize it. If your ministry is not effective and not essential, it is time to cut this ministry.

Learn more about this tool and how to create a plan that is specific to your church in A Complete COVID-19 Guide to Lead Your Church Toward a New Normal.

Specific

It’s important for you to create a plan that works specifically for your church. You are the leader for your church. No one knows it as well as you do. Everyone has their own legal rules and issues to deal with in their own situations. Your plan will work best for your church. Do your due diligence and create a plan that works specifically for your church. 

As a leader, walk through this process with your team. Leverage your teams to know what is best for their area. Most of what you do in your church can be broadly categorized as part of a Leadership Pipeline and a Discipleship Pathway. They are your core engines of strategy to get you to your vision. Use this opportunity when you aren’t meeting to make sure your Discipleship Pathway is forming disciples that Jesus would be happy with. Does your Leadership Pipeline need to be addressed? Is your staff equipping saints for the work of the ministry or holding on to all the ministry themselves? Look at these core engines and your ministries. As you are redeploying staff and high-level leaders, best position yourself to thrive when your new normal arrives.

Taken from the New Churches Q&A Podcast Episode 496: Redploying Staff.

Looking for a new position? Stop by MinistryJobs.com and have a look at the jobs that are available! Ministry jobs are hard to come by and job hunting is no fun. We help ministry job seekers find their ideal role in their next ministry – for free! More than 6 million search for a job every day. Be found! Looking to list a job or an open position? We help churches and organizations get job openings in front of potential candidates. We have several plans and packages available. Today is the day!

Whatever You Do…Don’t Quit!

If you’re in a position that’s leaving you discouraged and wanting to move on, it’s time to evaluate. Living during this world wide pandemic has been discouraging in itself which can cause some of those feelings. A lack of interaction with your staff. Feelings of inadequacy in your ministry. Not being able to think out of the box. The list goes on! It can make someone want to quit. Unfortunately, sometimes the easy route is to quit. Is that really what God wants you to do? He’s placed you in this ministry for a reason – it may just be for “such a time as this”. Get away and really evaluate what’s going on. Don’t quit – dig your feet in and keep pressing forward. So how can you do that? 

1. Look to God

In Hebrews 12:2 it says, to look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. The word “look” in Hebrew literally means to fix your eyes on something. It’s easy to focus your attention on your situation or outside events. This can certainly cause you to feel like quitting! When we do that, it’s easy to lose sight of God and what he’s called us to do. When you feel like giving up and throwing in the towel, look to God and depend on him to get you through this time. He will provide you the strength to take that next step forward. 

2. Remember how Christ endured pain. 

In Hebrews 12:3, it says to “consider Christ”. He was willing to take such shame from sinners. Think of this so you will not get tired and give up. The word “consider” in this verse means to think about. When we feel like giving up, think about what Christ endured for you.  Think about the opposition he was up against. The pain he felt on the cross when he was spit on and mocked. When you think about those things, it should give you the strength to keep moving forward. Don’t be discouraged! God understands you and sees the trials you’re up against. He will never leave you. He will give you the power to endure this time. Fill your mind with God’s Word and remember what Jesus has endured for us.

3. Trust that people are growing because of your good works. 

What you do matters! The time you’re investing in planning, the love you’re pouring into your team, and the sacrifices that you’re making are not in vain. God sees and so do the people around you. It tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:58 to be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain. You have the opportunity to make disciples and those disciples will continue the pattern so we can make heaven full. Be obedient to the call! We know ministry is challenging and in days and times like these, we question if it’s worth it. Know you’re making a difference. Trust that even though you may not see the fruit, you’re part of planting the seed. 


4. Know that God is faithful.

It says in Hebrews 10:23 to hold fast for he has promised to be faithful. If God has led you and called you to this ministry, he has your back! God doesn’t call you without equipping and empowering you. If you don’t feel you have the strength, He will give it to you. He never fails and is always there to guide you if you ask. He is trustworthy and will do what He says He will do. God won’t let you down. Whenever you feel like quitting, God will sustain you and breathe life back into your ministry. God’s faithful even when we aren’t! 

When those thoughts of discouragement come creeping back up to the door of your heart and mind, stop and LOOK to God, REMEMBER what he endured, TRUST that what you do matters, and KNOW that God is faithful!

Looking for a new position? Stop by MinistryJobs.com and have a look at the jobs that are available! Ministry jobs are hard to come by and job hunting is no fun. We help ministry job seekers find their ideal role in their next ministry – for free! More than 6 million search for a job every day. Be found! Looking to list a job or an open position? We help churches and organizations get job openings in front of potential candidates. We have several plans and packages available. Today is the day!

What’s the Word Wednesday

Don’t just go back to what’s familiar. Don’t just go back to what’s comfortable. Don’t just go back to what’s practical. Don’t just go back to what’s expected.

Southeast Christian Church

Are you desiring God or the things of God? God didn’t say that he would just be there for us in the good times. He said he’d be with us at ALL times! He wants us to depend on him in both the good AND the hard times. As we’re trying to figure out our new routines in the up and downs of COVID-19, remember to not just go back to your routines. Don’t just go back to what’s familiar! It’s not about what’s comfortable for you or your volunteers. What can you do to be different? H0w can you be better? What can you do that’s extraordinary for your ministry? Not only should you be stretched but so should your team!

John 14:27 New Living Translation (NLT)

“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.

Looking for a new position? Stop by MinistryJobs.com and have a look at the jobs that are available! Ministry jobs are hard to come by and job hunting is no fun. We help ministry job seekers find their ideal role in their next ministry – for free! More than 6 million search for a job every day. Be found! Looking to list a job or an open position? We help churches and organizations get job openings in front of potential candidates. We have several plans and packages available. Today is the day!

8 Suggestions for Weary Pastors & Church Leaders

I heard it from another pastor today: “I’m just tired.” Shepherding a congregation can be wearisome in general, but it’s all magnified and multiplied in these COVID days. Everything seems to be changing, and nothing seems to be easy. If you’re a weary pastor or church leader today, here are some ways to find renewal:

  • Enlist prayer partners to pray for you and your family. That might seem to be simply a spiritualized suggestion, but there’s something encouraging when you know for certain that others are praying for you. If you already have this prayer team, make sure they know about your weariness.

 

  • Take a day off. I’ve seen many pastors work non-stop these days. I understand why they’ve done so, but I suspect their churches want them to take care of themselves physically and spiritually. Even if all you do is rest at home on a day off, take the time.

 

  • Read a good, fun book. Too many of us read only for our professional roles, and we don’t allow ourselves time to read something just for the fun of it. I’ve learned that I can relax better when I’m reading something about sports, hiking, or traveling—things I don’t typically read in my daily roles.

 

  • Take a walk. It’s good exercise. It requires you to slow down. Even from a social distance, you might meet some neighbors. And, if you simply must work, you can use the time to prayerwalk.

 

  • Delegate at least one task. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have some task he or she might give to someone else. Determine what options you have, and trust someone else to take on something. You might find that others are just grateful for the opportunity to assist you.

 

  • Share your preaching or teaching responsibilities for a week. I realize that might mean asking someone to preach multiple services due to COVID, but surely someone you trust would be willing to help you. You’ll be more refreshed for the next Sunday.

 

  • Take a silence and solitude retreat. Take at least three hours, and find a quiet place to spend time with the Lord. You might have to work hard to find that place these days, but it will be worth the effort. Jesus Himself pushed away from the busyness of ministry to spend time with the Father (Luke 5:15-16).

 

  • Talk to somebody if your weariness is becoming overwhelming. Nobody will be surprised by your fatigue, and others will be ready to help you. Don’t let your fatigue lead to bad choices.

I prayed for you this morning, weary pastors and church leaders. God bless you! 

Written by Chuck Lawless. Chuck is Dean of Doctoral Studies and Vice-President of Spiritual Formation and Ministry Centers at Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest, NC, where he also serves as Professor of Evangelism and Missions. In addition, he is Team Leader for Theological Education Strategists for the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. To find out more, have a look at his site!

Looking for a new position? Stop by MinistryJobs.com and have a look at the jobs that are available! Ministry jobs are hard to come by and job hunting is no fun. We help ministry job seekers find their ideal role in their next ministry – for free! More than 6 million search for a job every day. Be found! Looking to list a job or an open position? We help churches and organizations get job openings in front of potential candidates. We have several plans and packages available. Today is the day!

The Future of Jobs in Ministry

Let’s all be honest, being in ministry these days has been exhausting. Not only are you preparing to teach and lead in front of a live audience but you also have to figure out what a live stream, that’s pre-recorded, looks like. For a worship pastor, you have to organize, sometimes, two groups of people to lead for both services – live and online. It’s almost like having two full time jobs or even leading and teaching for two different churches.

We’re all in ministry for the same reason and that’s to make heaven full but how we’re doing it, looks a bit different these days. As we gear up for what the future of ministry looks like, you need to be prepared for how things might change. Here are a few things to consider: 

#1 Online

For some churches, online church has been something that they’ve had to learn and figure out very quickly. For others, they’ve been doing online streaming for quite some time. Either way, no matter the size, style or denomination, we’ve had to up our game when it comes to our churches being able to be viewed online. So how does this affect us in the future? If you haven’t given serious thought to doing this long term, you should. This idea of online church isn’t going anywhere – it’s here to stay. Despite what some people say though, it’s actually a good thing. This is essentially the front door to your church. A lot of people will stop by your website or social media channels to browse to find out who you are and what you bring to the table. Having an online presence is essential if you want to get noticed. 

#2 Remote

Working remotely is something a lot of churches are going to be doing more of in the future. The reason? Cost. To keep the building open Monday through Friday cost money, right? We don’t think about the cost of electric, water and waste to keep a building open. By having staff stay home during COVID-19, we’ve seen how we can save money by having staff work remotely. In the long run, we’ve actually heard that most people seem to be more productive in a remote setting anyway. All this to say that a lot of churches will still have staff working at the church in some capacity but most will probably do more remote work instead of physically being at the church. The church staff will still be able to fulfill the churches vision and mission, they’re just doing it in a different way!

#3 Freelancing

Typically, a church will have someone in the office that does all of their communication – social media, videos, graphics, etc. This person is sometimes a paid full time staff member. That may change in the future. Again, the reason I feel has a lot to do with cost. Why not consider having someone freelance to do all of this work? You wouldn’t have to pay salary, benefits and up-keep of space to keep a person on staff. This isn’t a position where a staff member is seen or has a responsibility for being on stage weekly. This is a position that’s typically behind the scenes. In the future, churches can outsource this work for less money than what they’re currently paying someone. In a lot of situations, you can sometimes get better quality for less money. Some churches already do this and have found huge success with it!

The future certainly looks different for people working in ministry. If you haven’t started to see some of these changes already, you’re bound to see them in the coming months. The important thing to remember is that these changes aren’t bad – they’re just different. Keep an open mind as your churches are making changes. In a lot of cases, they better the church and allow us to fulfill our mission of making heaven full – what’s not to like about that?

Looking for a new position? Stop by MinistryJobs.com and have a look at the jobs that are available! Ministry jobs are hard to come by and job hunting is no fun. We help ministry job seekers find their ideal role in their next ministry – for free! More than 6 million search for a job every day. Be found! Looking to list a job or an open position? We help churches and organizations get job openings in front of potential candidates. We have several plans and packages available. Today is the day!

Effective Pastoral Transitions in the Time of COVID-19

How can a pastor moving from one congregation to the next make a successful transition, given the unusual circumstances of the COVID-19 crisis? Lovett H. Weems Jr. says the challenges of the day demand creativity and flexibility. But it is also more important than ever to follow normal best practices for making a right start.

Leaving Well

For pastors, the first step in an effective transition is drawing to a close the ministry in the church they are leaving. COVID-19 adds layers of complexity to an already emotional time. The sense of grief and loss that accompanies transition will be heightened for everyone. It is more important than ever to attend to the emotional dimensions of transition and to communicate strength, comfort, and hope.

It is still important to say goodbye to church members and community leaders. But the conversations may need to happen in different ways — by phone, letter, Zoom, or video. Similarly, a farewell celebration or closing worship service may need to be conducted virtually or with proper social distancing, depending on local safety protocols.

Parsonages, Offices, and Moving

Pastors and congregations understand the importance of having clean space ready for a new pastor’s arrival. However, this year the preparation of a pastor’s office or living space has become more important than ever. In cleaning and sanitizing the pastor’s office and parsonage, congregations should follow the procedures regarding COVID-19 on the CDC website: “Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools, and Homes.”

It might be beneficial to allow a buffer of time between the departing pastor’s move out and the new pastor’s arrival. Where there is no parsonage, remember that it may be more difficult for an incoming pastor to sell a previous home and/or find a new one. Alternative housing options may be necessary in the interim.

Entering a New Congregation and Getting Acquainted

One key to a smooth arrival in a new church is spending as much time as possible getting to know members. Learn as much as possible about the church, the community, and the people. This listening and learning often happens in face-to-face meetings, social events, or house parties. Some of these early visitation practices will need to be replaced by other forms of communication — a video introduction, phone calls, Zoom gatherings, personal notes, and so on.

People may be experiencing displaced grief, especially if they did not have the opportunity to say a proper goodbye to the former pastor, so be gentle with yourself and others. Given the state of flux, many things you need or want to accomplish will take extra care and extra time. Be patient with people, systems, and processes.

Preaching and Worship in the First Months

In a time when many congregations are not worshiping in their buildings, stepping into the “pulpit” for the first time comes with a whole new set of challenges. Depending on your location you may need to begin worshipping online, so be prepared!

If the congregation is worshiping online, continue to use whatever video/virtual platform was used before transition. Work closely with the those responsible for putting together online worship and give them plenty of lead time. Remember, congregations have already experienced seismic shifts in their worship due to COVID-19 restrictions, and more change is coming. It is even more important to be sensitive to the ability to absorb change.

An incoming pastor’s early sermons are an important way for the congregation to become familiar with their new pastor, especially in this time of limited face-to-face interaction. Use the first several sermons to introduce yourself. It is also essential in light of the collective experience of COVID-19 to speak hopefully about the future. Preach trust, faith, and the importance of caring for people and community.

Congregational and Community Financial Stress

Coming to understand a church’s financial picture is always a priority for an incoming pastor. The COVID-19 era makes the subject more urgent. There is little time to waste and the stakes could be quite high. Because the pandemic is closing churches for months and stressing the economy so profoundly, it is critical to learn all you can as quickly as you can about the church’s financial heath and stability. Do not assume the new situation is like that of your former church.

Clear communication and sensitive leadership are required in this time of financial uncertainty. It is important to be attentive to how COVID-19 stay-at-home orders have impacted church members and the larger community, and it is important to affirm whatever the church has done to continue ministry under difficult circumstances.

Article from Lewis Center for Church Leadership

Lovett H. Weems, Jr., is senior consultant at the Lewis Center for Church Leadership, distinguished professor of church leadership emeritus at Wesley Theological Seminary, and author of several books on leadership.

Looking for a new position? Stop by MinistryJobs.com and have a look at the jobs that are available! Ministry jobs are hard to come by and job hunting is no fun. We help ministry job seekers find their ideal role in their next ministry – for free! More than 6 million search for a job every day. Be found! Looking to list a job or an open position? We help churches and organizations get job openings in front of potential candidates. We have several plans and packages available. Today is the day!