1. Reflecting on your own well-being/levels of burnout
Pastors and other leaders that I talk with are tired. There are probably at least four components of this: a) Pivoting - Covid has necessitated many changes such as various forms of online church and no doubt some of these changes are ahead of us, b) Processing - there are higher levels of anxiety in churches and greater calls for pastoral care as people struggle with changes in their own lives and changes in their church. For pastors to process their own emotions and helping others do this is a vital part of churches moving forward, c) Pandemic - just going through a pandemic and watching the news is emotionally draining, and d) Pausing - many pastors have yet to take mid-year holidays and are working extra hours.
2. Reflecting around ministry in a post-Covid world
What does recovery look like and how might pastors facilitate it? What new programs or emphases will be added, such as online groups and events? What programs will be dropped? What extra equipping is required for say small group leaders, tech teams and pastoral care teams? And connected with Processing in point 1, how do you assist people to deal with transition (the emotional/spiritual component) and change? Articulating what elements of your church remain unchanged, what losses there have been and what these are likely to mean, and what new
processes or changes are on the horizon will be key.
3. Reflecting on how to deal constructively with conflict.
The generalised anxiety that many are experiencing can easily ignite conflict. Since most churches are conflict-averse, this is a really good time for a) helping people to find ways to lower their anxiety, b) clarifying expectations around behaviour in times of tension, and c) proactively arranging some conflict training and clear pathways for processing conflict when it arises.
There are many other benefits of pastoral supervision, but these are three that are particularly relevant to our shared experience of Covid. If you are interested in finding out more about how supervision can help you, please DM me.
© 2020 Ian Duncum. All rights reserved. No reproduction without written permission.
Rev Dr Ian Duncum is an author (The Impact of Church Consultancy is available here https://www.ianduncum.com.au/shop), and a consultant with 20 years experience of working with non-profit enterprises and churches across a number of denominations. This has included denominational leadership in church health and development, and research positions. Ian also trains church consultants, facilitates training for ministers and leaders, and provides coaching, mentoring and supervision for pastors and other leaders. He can be contacted through www.ianduncum.com.au or firstname.lastname@example.org