Easter is over... Now What?
Last week I shared about how we need to be thinking about our current situation through three different images: a blizzard, the winter, and a mini-ice age. As a refresher, the blizzard is the initial period of adjusting to a purely virtual church model, adjusting ministry programming to deal with immediate needs, and getting through Easter. The mini-ice age refers to the long-term effects of our current crisis, answering the question "how will the church be different 18-24 months from now?" The winter refers to the season that we are entering into for the next 3-6 months.
As we make the pivot from surviving the blizzard to thriving in the winter, every church needs to make the decision as to whether you want to survive this season, or if you want to thrive in this season. Some will be satisfied with merely surviving, and then coming back together to rebuild lost momentum when we begin to meet again. Other churches will want to lean into this season and use it to build momentum that can be built off when we return to a semblance of normalcy. Regardless of which you choose, make the choice and be honest about it... and begin to plan accordingly.
I am seeing three shifts being made in churches who have chosen to thrive in this season:
- Mindset Shift:In this season, we need to shift from a "come to us" mindset to a "go to them" approach. Because Sunday mornings are no longer a place to gather, it really has become incumbent on us to reach out in creative new ways and old boring ways. Simply posting on a website and a Facebook page and waiting for people to find it is not enough. We need to be considering how to get our message of hope into the hands of people in this season. This may mean rearranging your budget to up your social media marketing strategy or investing in mailers to your community (my walk to the mailbox is my daily adventure).
- Staffing Shift:One of the positive things to come out of our current situation is a shift in our job descriptions. Everyone on a church staff team's number one priority needs to be pastoral care during this season. We must get back to high-touch, highly relational ministry. One on one connections with people, whether through zoom or a phone call, are incredibly important in this season (and frankly, every season) and warrant a shift in your team's job description for the months ahead.
- Programming Shift:We need to be thinking through how we approach programming in the days to come. I would particularly challenge you to begin thinking through what your relaunch strategy will be. How will you approach relaunching if it is a phased roll out? If we are limited to groups of 10 or 25 for the first month and then that size is increased slowly over the course of the next 3 months, how will you approach that?
We want to navigate this season with you and serve as a resource. Here are three ways we are doing that:
- Tomorrow, we are continuing ourNow What? webinar series with a discussion about planning for the summer. Joining us will be Scott Ridout, the President of Converge; Tim Farrant, executive pastor of Grace Fellowship Church, in Columbus, Ohio; and Tim Nations, one of Chemistry's Church Coaches.You can learn more about the webinar here.
- Chemistry is also launching a Virtual Church Strategy Lab. This is tuition optional group learning experience. Over the course of six weeks, you will take the time to assess where you are, develop a picture of where you want to go in this season, and develop the strategy to implement it. This will be a great experience for those who want to thrive in the season ahead.Learn more here.
- I am always available to think through your current situation with you. As you begin to wrestle through how to shift your programming, staffing, or mindset and need an outside set of eyes, I'd love to spend some time together (no obligation).This link will help us find a time to talk.
As always, we are rooting for you in this season. I remain as convinced as ever that the local church is the hope of the world and that the Gospel's message of hope is needed now more than ever. Please know that we are praying for you in this season and want nothing more than to see you thrive in the days to come.