COVID-19/post COVID-19 will have far reaching effects on your church:
- It will create more opportunities for Kingdom impact.
- It will result in less resources to do it.
- It might be over in a few weeks or months…but it won’t be over.
- It will make decisions for you if you don’t decide to act first.
- It has impacted finances. This will help. Managing finances must not become the vision.
- It can be many times worse if you have a school/preschool/early childhood center. PLI and the Institute for Missional Visioning are hosting a 4-day webinar May 18-21, 11 AM-1 PM CDT, on scenario planning for your church/school ministry. (Click here for more information.)
There’s a great opportunity. A vibrant future waits on the other side. Bring your team/board close. Do the hard work together. It will be difficult. Expect God to surprise you.
The 6 Critical Questions You’ll Need to Answer to Do More with Less
The Two New Front Doors to Your Church
1. Will you unlock the “outside the building” front door?
This is big. Experiment with us for a season. “Distribute” your church into the neighborhoods and apartment buildings of your members. Everyone’s not coming back to church all at once. Train a few members to gather the church in smaller gatherings. Gather the willing. Let them discover how to be missionaries where they live. Remember: People far from God will accept invitations into living rooms or onto patios long before they accept invitations into a sanctuary. PLI will train you and give you the simple tools you need. Email Raechel for more information.
2. Will you unlock the “live streaming” front door?
At least for a season, it will become the other front door to your ministry. You’ve already made the jump. It’s good news. Bad news. Here are the 3 things you need to consider:
- Sustainability! Manpower or the lack of it.
- Upgrades/improvements! One camera at a distance and muffled sound. You’ll need better.
- Engagement! How do you invite viewers/hoppers to
- Become worshipers who respond?
- Give as an act of gratitude and worship?…not to help pay the bills?
- Join in community? A Zoom small group?
- Offer requests for prayer?
The Two Discerning and Difficult Questions
3. What do we preserve?
“Do More with Less” churches make sure to preserve the essence of who they are…their vision for representing Jesus in their community…what’s important to them…what they are good at doing. They clarify “this must not change.” They clarify “this we must keep.” Ask your leaders these questions on your next Zoom happy hour: Share a time when our church was at its best. What does this tell us about what we preserve?
4. What do you need to stop…or not start up again?
“Do More with Less” churches lighten the program “backpack.” Think relationships over programs. You’ll be tempted to try to hang on to everything and risk losing everything because you fear more criticism. Gather the team. Get over it. Reread the start of today’s blog. You’ll remember why.
The Two Critical Investments
5. How can you grow the faith and vitality of an expanding core?
What’s the simple, regular rhythm to gather your leaders? To pray. To seek God’s leading. To identify and celebrate breakthroughs. To implore his mercy and provision? Don’t mandate it… unless you pay their salaries. Go with the willing. Try it for a season.
Gail and I started with the PLI team during the depths of difficulty a few years ago. (Amazing how weakness and desperation create openness to new patterns.) We call it Morning Prayers for the PLI team. Weekdays. 20 minutes. Everyone stops working. Everyone Zooms. We pray. Daily Bible reading. Brief reflections. Thank God for breakthroughs. Pray for leading. Ask for provision. Amen. You can join us and see on Facebook Live on Fridays at 11 AM CDT.
6. How can you invest in discipling new leaders?
For Jesus, the Word was shared in relationship, with the disciples. It was full of encouragement, accountability, invitations, challenges, discussions, questions…all in relationship. Transformation! It’s never just a classroom, never just the transfer of Biblical information. Relational discipleship is the hinge to the door to a future (2030) vibrant church. No matter the size or condition of your church. This is the hinge. If you want to see people who are tired, burned out on church and on programs come alive, disciple them.
- 1000 Young Leaders May 1 start is full. The next cohort will start November 1.
- Discipleship to Missional Community launches two new cohorts this fall in Cleveland and the West Coast. Contact Raechel to request more information.
- A pilot of a fully digital “not so young” leaders is launching shortly. If you have people you’d like to include, contact Raechel.
Finally, a few summary action steps:
- Share the blog with your team/board. Challenge them to do this together.
- Download the Vibrant 2030 Church ebook and harvest what’s valuable now. download the epub or a PDF).
- Request more information for the “distributed church.”
- Sign up your team for the church/school scenario planning.
- Request information on 1000 Young Leaders or the digital pilot for “not so young” leaders.
- Share this blog or relevant portions with other leaders that might find one of these resources helpful.
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