The old way of doing things is being transformed into a new opportunity to serve the church with a more extraordinary voice.
As the church enters the post-pandemic reality, it is experiencing shifts that come along once in a generation. The old way of doing things is being transformed into a new opportunity to serve the church with a more extraordinary voice. This shift can be scary for some, but for others they herald an exciting time to serve forward-leaning churches.
The pandemic and its effects have shown the church that if it stays the same, it will surely disappear into oblivion as the surrounding culture changes. The old tactics of opening the doors and the people will come have been left by the wayside as members have not returned. Visitors have become few and far between for many established churches. But instead of seeing this as a negative, some leaders and churches are taking this opportunity to advance up the spiritual field to change the church’s culture in a positive way to reach more people.
1. Evaluate Effectiveness
For far too long, churches have relied on programs to power the church. The programs began to falter when program workers were no longer showing up to help lead them. As the programs became dormant because of a lack of leadership or attendance, the church has evaluated each program’s gospel effectiveness. Programs that used to drive the church have driven many into the ground because they no longer are effective or reach their attended audience.
The resources (people and financial) have dwindled, but the programs remained. As the aftershock of the pandemic has taken hold, a shift is taking place to eliminate programs that have outlived their usefulness and move much-needed resources to programs that are reaching the lost or training up a new crop of gospel leaders.
2. Evaluate Need
Churches that are rebounding have evaluated the needs around them. The last 24 months have been measured in lockdowns, mask mandates and rules that have upset the traditional way of serving the sheep of the church. This seismic shift has enabled a culture shift to prioritize people over programs. The community’s needs are seen with a people-focused mentality.
As the needs of the people outside the walls are elevated, the conditions inside the walls decrease. This shift has created a missional approach that brings the gospel to life in the lives of believers.
3. Evaluate Response
For decades churches and their leaders placed resources in areas not by greatest need but by the most significant influence. As the yearly budget was being drawn up, the influencers inside the room used their position to place finances in areas they could navigate as their fiefdoms. These fiefdoms guarded their resources to the detriment of the health of the general church. However, with the seismic shift post-COVID-19, the leadership has had to face the fact that they could no longer maintain fiefdoms, or the church would die.
This realization forced a cultural church shift that made every action evaluable to respond to the church’s needs. Narrowing service buckets to a few key areas enabled the church to answer to their neighbors with more resources. No longer is the case that dollars flowed to the same programs each year but transferred to areas of greatest need.
As the church settles from the seismic aftershocks of the pandemic, it has a creative opportunity to become the church God wants them to be in this new decade.