5 Focus Points For Leaders As You Return To Your Buildings
I believe numbers and data can be useful and can be used to help make decisions. There used to put together plans and strategies, give confirmation, and bring clarity.
As I was looking at the latest data on the impact the Coronavirus shutdown is having on ministry, I realized that numbers can also be depressing.
So I thought about the effects the data I share with you each week during this crisis is having on you emotionally and mentally.
So what I’m going to do, in this post is share with you what you may want to think about and focus on as the shutdown is lifted and as you begin to step back into your building.
If you’re interested in the data you can get it here.
- No Need to Rush BackA large number of congregants, including seniors and leaders are leery about returning to their place of worship and don’t feel comfortable returning until it can be done free of masks and all the other restrictions.I don’t blame them. Can you imagine conducting a funeral for someone who contracted the virus because they were attending your place of worship?As one leader stated, “Social distance is just the beginning. Do you know how hard it is to worship with a mask on?”People are beginning to re-think how they come back together as a result of this crisis. As one leader put it, for the black community, “this Coronavirus is just another trauma”. As a ministry leader, you now have to contend with this psychological issue.
With this in mind, people have to be led and cared for differently.
- Adapt and ChangeIn an earlier video I asked the question. If this crisis lasts longer than we expect, and for many leaders it has, what’s your next plan?This crisis has taken many leaders by surprise, never expecting it to last more than a week. At the same time, it has forced many to take steps they were warned about years ago.That’s the one good thing about a crisis. It forces you to do the things you should have done. It forces you out of a “church as usual” mindset.Now you understand why whether you like it or not, it’s time to adapt and change.
- Digital Is The New DefaultYou may not like it but it doesn't mean it’s not true.If your organization had a strong online presence before the crisis no doubt you strengthened it during the crisis.If your organization had little or no online presents before the crisis, surly you now see how important having a digital platform can be. Now you should focus on understanding it better rather than stepping back into the past when you step back into your building.“I use to be one who was not a proponent of social media. I was totally against it because I’ve seen it destroy lives. Until this Coronavirus came and because it was the only way I could reach my people, I have to refocus my entire mind, get a Facebook for the church as well as myself, live streaming, teaching out of my home…Which was totally against everything I thought I would be doing. I want to tell you, this is the best experience I’ve ever had, reaching not just St John’s people but people across the world.” Pastor Frazier of St. John Baptist Church, Orlando, FL
- What’s Your Strength?Earlier I mentioned that the latest data is depressing however I have to share the following data with you to bring clarity and to make my next point.48% of churchgoers say they have not watched any church online in the last few weeks. Only 40% of churchgoers report watching their regular home church online. 23% said they streamed a different church.In a recent video, I suggested that churchgoers are getting what I call streaming fatigue.Just about every church is now live streaming, and churchgoers are searching for that one ministry that is doing it just right. They'er looking for that one ministry that's head and shoulders above the rest. Once they find it, they will for the most part only watch or stick with that one organization even if it's not their home church.As you can see, the numbers are beginning to bare this out.“So…the fact that 29% of churches are seeing an attendance spike and 23% of Christians say they are watching a church other than their home church might mean further consolidation is happening.” Carey NieuwhofSo what is consolidation?Consolidation is when larger, savvier churches pick up Christians from other churches. These larger churches were digitally prepared and had a strong online presence before the crisis.
Many of them have had years to understand there digital platforms as well as how to use them. In other words, their doing live streaming right during the crisis.As I’ve written many times, people vet you before they ever visit your place of worship so it’s no wonder that if your organization is doing live streaming right, there is a strong possibility that as you begin to open your building, those that you reached online during the crisis will be coming to visit you after the crisis.So if you are a smaller ministry how do you compete with this?In my FREE resource, Leading Through COVID-19, I talk about serving your community by focusing on the one or more things your group or organization does well. No matter how large or small, every organization has a strength, and no matter how large or small, every organization can afford and should have a digital platform and understand it.
- Not Just On SundayA couple of years ago I outlined how the digital age has and is changing the way the current and future 'church' meets, from a designated time and place to any time, anywhere and sometimes.Some leaders struggled with the post back then but now many are beginning to understand that our traditional view and definition of what constitutes when, where, and how "the church" meets is no longer valid.The legacy "church" model that we're familiar and comfortable with, has kept us from doing things differently and in many cases has kept us from doing things better.The building, called "church" shouldn't be the center of a ministry, but one of many options you now have to reach people.Both the building and your online presence should be seen as extensions of your ministry.
Let me hear from you. Love to get your thoughts.
This post is part of a growing FREE weekly ministry tip series to help you and your team as you lead through this Coronavirus crisis.
I put together a FREE resource Leading Through COVID-19: Ministry Solutions You Can Use Now. It’s 100% free. You can get instant access here.
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