Updated: Oct 5, 2021
In amongst the many practical tasks facing churches returning from lockdown, it is good to pause and take a reflective, deeper look at what will be important in this season:
Be Aware of Emotion and Care Needs
Lockdown has brought with it so many emotions, whether a sense of loss of connection with others, or extra stress from juggling work and home schooling.
Providing opportunities for people to process their experiences and emotions in face-to-face small groups or through individual pastoral care will be key.
Look Deeper than the Church Service
While it is great to be able to return to church services, the pause provided by lockdown is a great opportunity for innovation – for asking what ministries no longer have energy/effectiveness, or what new opportunities may be emerging.
It is probably a key time to re-invigorate your small group ministry (hopefully most groups have been connecting over Zoom) and give leadership to small group leaders in responding to care needs (see point above), mentoring emerging leaders in their small group, and missional local engagement by their small group (see point below).
Reconnect with your Local Community
Many churches will continue to livestream their services as another channel of engagement with the wider community. But it is probably an opportune time to ask some other questions:
How will we respond to the loneliness, mental health, and relational struggles that many have experienced in lockdown?
How well equipped are all our attenders for relational faith-sharing?
What ministries in our church are community-facing, and are we utilising these to connect well with people?
What social media strategies do we have for being known in our community (e.g. Facebook ads, Google AdWords, SEO, Google maps)?
Have we designed a pathway to move people through increasing levels of engagement, both online and offline?
It is a good time to reflect and take stock of the health of your church. All churches will benefit from an external health review with practical recommendations for the way forward. This can be done with Ian over Zoom, or in person (subject to public health orders). You can book a free strategy session with Ian here or download a free church health checklist here.
© 2021 Ian Duncum. All rights reserved. No reproduction without written permission.
Rev Dr Ian Duncum is a trained and accredited (with John Mark Ministries) church consultant with 20 years experience of working with non-profit enterprises and churches across a number of denominations. This has also included denominational leadership in church health and development and church research in the tertiary education sector. An accredited minister with a track record of growing churches, Ian also trains church consultants, facilitates training for ministers and leaders, and mentors/supervises pastors and other leaders. He can be contacted at www.ianduncum.com.au or email@example.com