We left for deeply personal reasons. But that didn't make it easy. It was the place we called "home." For me, it was 27 years, and for my wife, it was 18. But it was the only church our kids knew. Time has passed, but we still feel the weight of leaving something of value behind.
You may have found yourself unprepared for the current crisis we are experiencing. Here are a few resources you can use as your team moves to working remotely. You can also use them to stay in touch with your church community.
With the talk of COVID-19 dominating the world's conversation, we are all making short-term decisions. These "in the moment for the moment" decisions are tactical rather than strategic. They feel reactionary because, well, they are. For some strategic thinkers, this can be a welcome change. But for others, it might seem a little paralyzing. For the second audience, we want to encourage you with a couple of basic thoughts as you lead your congregation through this tumultuous time.
We received a couple of emails recently from the church we attend. The first was a statement about how the church was responding and handling the coronavirus outbreak. Among other things, they suspended greeting one another as part of the service, just as a precautionary measure. They encouraged people to stay home and watch online if they are feeling sick. And they encouraged good hygiene. They also said they added extra hand sanitizing stations throughout all their campuses.
The next email addressed a possible exposure of a congregation member at one of the church campuses. The remainder of the email explained what they were doing at the campus, even though the congregant wasn't experiencing any symptoms. We felt informed, and it appeared the church 's response was balanced and appropriate.
The coronavirus is on everyone's mind. If your church hasn't made a statement yet, it may be time. Whenever there's national — or, in this case, global — news, your church family and your community are wondering what you're going to say or what you're doing about the crisis. If you wait too long, you may leave them to wonder why you haven't said (or done) anything.
Here are four tips I'd recommend when it comes to addressing this crisis with your church.
Church staff members want to work together. And church leaders want free-flowing and open work environments. The pastor or other upline leaders offer accountability but with a hands-off approach. Ministry leaders independently set their course the way they feel God is leading.
While helpful in theory, this approach comes with both freedom and frustration. Silos form, and people become territorial without realizing it. Nobody intends for this to happen, but it is an unspoken conflict in most churches. Nobody wants to accuse anyone of seeking their interests when serving in the church.
If you are sensing levels of friction among your team or within your day-to-day processes, this independent approach may be part of the problem.
Many small businesses are utilitizing online administrative assistants. Today, most administrative tasks are done digitally and online anyway. Church teams like yours use web-based resources and solutions all the time — church data management, cloud-based storage, project management, notes, and more. Because of this, administrative support personnel can work virtually anywhere. There are a lot of benefits to hiring an online church assistant.
How does your church manage all of the information you receive from and about your congregants? Church management systems (ChMS) are designed to help administrators and teams with this. There are so many helpful solutions on the market today, each with their distinct approaches to keeping and managing data.
I remember receiving a Connection Card from a first-time guest. I was not present at the time it was filled out, and I never met the person.
She had indicated on the card that she had been recently divorced. This wasn't a selection on the card; she wrote it in the margin on the card. She also said she was looking for a church. I was moved as I read this card. I didn't know who she was, but I felt honored that she had entrusted this personal info she shared, and I stopped to imagine what her situation might be like.
You and your congregation rely on your weekly bulletin to stay up to date. Or do they? Are you sure it still should be considered your primary media channel? In today's ever-changing digital era, your church can't afford to invest in communication resources that may not be working as well as they once did.
It was a typical Monday when the news started to break. A gunman entered a one-room Amish schoolhouse just 10 miles from our church, and it didn't look good. In the end, he took the lives of 5 innocent girls that day, injured more, and left a community in shock.
I was the church's communications director, so my thoughts went to how we, as a church, would respond to such tragedy. Having come from an Amish background, several of our staff had friends and acquaintances in that community. We'd never gone through a crisis like this, so we pulled people together to come up with an approach and what we might say.