What does it mean to do what needs to be done now, so your church will be ready then?
Thankfully, we are coming up on the other side of the pandemic, and many churches are getting back to normal schedules, activities, and to varying degrees, attendance. Going through a global pandemic was a new experience for everyone and the shutting down of our churches was unprecedented. As we come back to full speed, all of us should ask ourselves the question: What can I do now to make sure I am ready to maximize my church’s impact in a culture that has been radically impacted? We want to help you evaluate key areas to make sure your church will thrive as we regain full speed in our ministries.
My friend and church consultant, Scotty Sanders, shared five things pastors should be doing to make sure their church is better positioned than ever before to have a major impact in their community.
1. Streamline your budget and challenge people in their giving.
Go through your budget with your finance team and make sure your church is not wasting money. There may be things you are paying for that you don’t even use anymore. You may be spending money on programs and ministries that are no longer effective. Even your copier contracts and other office supplies can be managed more effectively. Look at every angle and prepare for the future so you will be ready to engage ministries and have the resources to do it. Also, use this time to really challenge your members in their giving. Pastor, this is a great time to encourage and challenge your people to give generously for the furtherance of the Kingdom.
2. Continue to improve and expand your online presence.
Look for ways to make your online services better and more interactive. Look for opportunities to engage the people who are online. Ask yourself how you will continue to minister online as the church shifts back to in-person worship gatherings. Ask, “What are innovative ways we can minister online as a church even being back to physical meetings?” Online ministry will become a more important part of your church’s ministry in the days to come. Be ready!
3. Strengthen your small group structure.
It doesn’t matter whether you do Sunday School or small groups, this is a great time to make them better. Challenge your leaders to take on more ministry within their groups. Recruit others within the groups to take on leadership roles for outreach, ministry, and care groups. Use this time to identify new leaders to develop more groups. Invest some time in developing these small group leaders so your groups will be even stronger and more effective.
4. Sacrifice a few sacred cows.
Pastors, we all have some of these in our churches. Those events and activities we do every year only because they have been done every year, but they don’t contribute to accomplishing the mission at all. During the pandemic, the calendar came to a halt and you probably missed some of these types of events, or perhaps you didn’t miss them at all. Take the time to eliminate those things that are taking up time, money, and energy and really think through how we can better accomplish the mission.
5. Work on the ministry.
Identify areas in your church that need to be worked on. What areas are relatively weak in your ministry? Work on those areas during this time and try to make them stronger. Get input from other leadership to help you see through some of your blindspots. Take an honest look and find ways to improve.
These five initiatives will help prepare you for greater effectiveness in a post-COVID world.
Pastors, let’s not miss out on this opportunity to position our churches for more effective ministry in this world that we know is constantly changing. Don’t go back to business as usual. Seek the Lord, engage your leaders, passionately share the vision, and see God use your church like never before.
Joshua 1:9 states, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”