Will You Step Back Into The Past When You Step Back Into Your Building?


As your church closes out the 2nd month and enters into the 3rd month of the Coronavirus shutdown, and as you begin to re-open, there is one big thing to consider. Will stepping back into the past kill your future?

In the latest Barna Group survey, 1 in 4 churches report that their online attendance increased. That’s down about 25% from the previous weeks.

In the same recent Barna survey, 68 percent of pastors surveyed, stated that they are confident that they will continue to survive after the crisis. "This means that 20 to 33 percent will not survive the crisis in the next 12 months." Barna Group

61 percent of black pastors say that they are confident that they will survive vs 67 percent of white pastors.

In a past video, I talked about how like some businesses, there will be some ministries that won’t survive the shutdown.

Churches that are at risk of not surviving the Coronavirus shutdown and restrictions:
  • Those under 100 regular participants/members

  • Those that have been in ministry 1 to 3 years

  • Those earning less the forty thousand a year

  • Those in the North East

  • Those led by women 

As leaders navigate this crisis, reality is sitting in. Bubbles are being burst, and assumptions challenged.

One leader stated that “there is a lot of repositioning.” “There is a loss of control, and it’s difficult to lead when you’ve lost some of those leveraging points."

As the shutdowns begin to gradually ease, many leaders will revert back to what they’re familiar with, in an attempt to regain those “leveraging points" for a sense of control.

But, will you step back into the past when you step back into your building?

What will happen if you go back to what you think is normal?

After the celebration of coming back together, and seeing those you haven’t seen in a long time, remember that those you lead have tasted new fruit, and have engaged in new experiences as it relates to ministry or church.

Going back to an analog model of ministry will conflict with their digital/online ministry experience during the shutdown.

Why would they want to go back to that?

This reminds be of Paul's questions to the Galatians, “So now that you know God (or should I say, now that God knows you), why do you want to go back again and become slaves once more to the weak and useless spiritual principles of this world?” Gal. 4:9

To simply re-embrace what was will destroy what could be.

Now that you’ve figured out that online/digital ministry is real, and as you step back into your buildings, don’t make the mistake of treating online/digital ministry as just another flavor enhancer to your brick and mortar place of worship.

Make this mistake at your peril, because online ministry is a new normal.

As I stated in this video and wrote in my free resource, Leading Through COVID-19, this Coronavirus is a typhoon strength storm that will shipwreck many ministries and organizations. There will be many that will run aground, close their doors, and never return. (Acts 27)

However, If you plan to make it through this crisis, and as much as you may not want to admit it, this storm has and will force every ministry and organization to lose, toss away and get rid of unneeded and useless cargo. Now you can take the resource that you were wasting on all of the baggage and put it in your online ministry.

If you want to have an impact online you have to give it more than 1 percent of your budget and more of your time.

What’s at stake is how you show up for the current and emerging generation.

Church attendance has been in decline for years. Guess what? Everybody's not coming back to a building.

"COVID-19 is our persecution. It caused us to scatter digitally and plant the gospel in places we haven't been previously." Myron Pierce (Acts 8:1)

In my digital resource, 10 Reasons Young Adults Are Checking Out of Your Place of Worship, I noted that 64 percent of young adults were dropping out of what was known as church before the crisis. Going back to the ministry methods and models that weren't working before the crisis says that you weren't paying attention during the crisis.

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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