5 Things This Pandemic Has Taught Church Leaders

I write this in my home office as I just got off a call with our staff evaluating the plan to possibly reopen when the time comes.

We aren’t sure when we will re-Open, but we are drafting up a plan so that we will be ready when the time comes.

It got me thinking about my own leadership and what this pandemic has taught me. I bet it has taught you some of the same things…

1. Your online audience is a part of your church

Some churches already got this way before the pandemic. They viewed their online audience as part of the church. They welcomed their online viewers during the physical gathering, created virtual serve and group options, and connected with them.

Some churches already did that, but the majority didn’t.

The majority of churches use their online streaming as a means to get content into the hands of their church people who have to miss the physical gathering.

This pandemic has forced all churches (big and small) to recognize that online church is a thing and it is here to stay.

When things go back to normal, online church needs to be a part of your strategy.

Continue to engage your online audience. Continue to welcome them. Continue to connect with them through first time guest forms, live virtual hosts, and online prayer options.

All of the good creative online content that you have been doing, it needs to continue when the pandemic is over.

We have to start recognizing the online audience as a part of our church.

2. We aren’t in control as much as we thought we were.

This pandemic has taught me that I am not in control.

Now, if if I’m honest, I love to control things. I love to control my schedule, the tv, the gps, my house, my job, my kids (good luck) and pretty much everything else. I love control.

Well, control is cool until you lose it. 

Church leaders are good at working a stage. Crafting a sermon. Organizing a killer weekend service. We control a lot of this but now that everything is online and our programming is minimized, we realize how little control we have to begin with.

Church leader, you are not in control and that’s ok. You just need to know and cling to the one who is in control.

Run to Him.

3. People are more important than programs

Programming has been minimal lately. I mean every church has had to cut programs to some degree.

Our staff has made it a point to regularly call every person in our church as a routine “check up.” Now in our church, we have close to 2,000 people.

That’s a lot of phone calls and check ins.

But it’s well worth it.

This pace of spending more time calling people and less time programming has been a nice change.

Ministry is about people, not programs.

Hopefully after this is over, we don’t go back to over-programming but that we have the same focus and intensity for people as we do our programs.

4. We can be more creative and innovative than we care to admit

This pandemic has proved that your church (small or big) can be pretty creative.

Zoom calls for small groups? Who would have thought about that?

Virtual Easter?

Drive in church?

Online kids and students programming? 

The point is that you have been forced to be creative and innovative.

When things go back to normal, keep your creative and innovative personality.

5. Virtual work is possible for just about everyone

Meetings can be done online! In fact, online meetings tend to be more intentional and focused anyway.

Most of your responsibilities probably can be online.

I think that virtual work for church leaders is the way to go moving forward.

I don’t think you have to force 8-5 of office work time to your staff. Get your job done at a time that is convenient for you.

Those are just five things that I have learned. What have you learned during this pandemic? Comment below and let me know. 

Published by Josh Evans

Josh is the connections pastor of the Oakleaf campus of Trinity Baptist Church in Jacksonville, FL. Before that, Josh had been a mentor and pastor to students for 10 years. Josh is passionate about empowering church leaders to make a difference. Josh and his wife Abby have two children. You can connect further with Josh on this blog or send him a direct email at joshhevans@gmail.com.

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