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So Much Change . . . So Little Time

| 2 min read

Written by Matt Steen
Jun 10, 2020 10:36:28 AM

How I see the Church changing because of the last 90 days

On Monday it hit me: it's June. I realize that this is not a startling revelation in and of itself. What was startling to me was that we are only five months and change into 2020. This year has seen years worth of crisis, challenge, and strife packed into a few short weeks. As a result, we are learning, adapting, and changing. 

Change in the church can be a scary proposition. We hear horror stories about churches that fight over the smallest change: carpet color, pews vs chairs, or even which hymns are sung on Sunday morning (and don't get me started on drum sets). But this year has seen us wrestle through some of the most significant changes we have seen in some time.
In just the last 90 days we have:
  • Totally reworked what Sunday mornings look like when we can't access our buildings.
  • Begun having a much-needed dialog about race in our churches and our country.
  • Wrestled through what it looks like to reopen our buildings and gather together in a responsible way.
Looking back over this season, I can't help but remain hopeful. We continue to serve a loving God who is not surprised by what we are experiencing and while we have much work to do, we know that our God is for us in the midst of this season. If you hear nothing else from this post, hear this: 

You are doing well in a season that you were not prepared for... keep pressing on, keep leaning in, but know that the work you are doing matters, is needed, and is critically important. I am proud of you and grateful for all that you are doing.

As I have paused and reflected on all that is happening in this season, I currently have three main areas where I see the church making significant changes in the days to come:
  • We need to talk about race: We, especially the predominantly white church, will begin to take a harder look at ourselves and reflect on how we navigate the racial tensions in our country. This is hard, frustrating, and confusing work for many of us, but it is work that needs to be done (here are a few conversations that we have recently had with friends that might be helpful as you process: addressing racial tensions on Sunday, how churches can serve in this season, and how to pastor your church through this).
  • Every church is now a multi-site: Regardless of whether this was your plan, or not, your church now has an internet campus. I don't see this going away, and I see it as an incredible opportunity for our churches to engage with people like never before. Savvy church leaders are now wrestling through how to best deploy staff and volunteers to this effort in a way that will increase engagement with Jesus and his bride.
  • Remote work is a viable option: The last few months have taught several churches that remote work works. I believe that this will allow churches to do things that they never thought possible as we will be able to leverage the skills and abilities of people who are unable to work the traditional 40-hour workweek in a church office. Churches who are willing to be creative in their thinking around staffing will benefit greatly from this cultural shift.
I am encouraged by what I am seeing. This has been a tough season, with great difficulty and hurt... but I am encouraged to see how the church has stepped up to be the church and overcome the difficulties that have been placed before us... and I can't wait to see what God does next.

One last thing. Would you mind helping me out with a project? We have partnered with our friends at Shaar to launch a study on the future of how churches will work. This quick survey will help us as we think through what's next and will help us better serve churches. It will take about 10 minutes, and we'll be giving away Amazon gift cards to random participants. This link will take you to the survey.

Thank you for all of your hard work in this season... we are rooting for you!



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