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05. 28. 2023

Current Events

Winters and Blizzards and Ice Ages (Oh My)

| 2 min read

Written by Matt Steen
Apr 8, 2020 9:52:24 AM

Shifting our thinking in light of COVID 19

Yesterday I read an essay by Andy Crouch, Kurt Keilhacker, and Dave Blanchard that has had me thinking through how churches are responding and adapting to COVID 19. You can find the full essay here, but this section stopped me in my tracks:

The novel coronavirus is not just something for leaders to “get through” for a few days or weeks. Instead, we need to treat COVID-19 as an economic and cultural blizzard, winter, and beginning of a “little ice age” — a once-in-a-lifetime change that is likely to affect our lives and organizations for years.
Let's define a few terms, shall we?
  • A blizzard, besides being a bad snowstorm, is a short term incident that requires us to adapt our lives in a way that allows us to get through it but is unsustainable for the long term. To survive a blizzard, we buy lots of milk, bread, and toilet paper and hunker down in our homes for a few days.
  • Winter is a season where we adapt our lifestyle in a way that allows us to sustainably make it through a period of extreme cold. Winter requires us to alter what we wear, what we do, and how we get there.
  • An ice age forces us to make significant changes to how we do what we do. It does not change why we do it, but it will most certainly change how it gets done and what our organizations look like for years to come. 
As I look at the current church landscape, I believe that we, as church leaders, need to be planning for all three: 
  • We need to be working through the initial blizzard of survival: adapt our programming to work virtually, create the systems and processes needed to lead a remote team, and find ways to minister to the world around us. 
  • Once we have dealt with the immediate blizzard, and have caught our breath, we need to be looking towards the coming winter. Dr. Fauci recently said that we would not be back to normal until a vaccine has been developed. If this takes 6-8 months, how do we need to be adapting our programming for the intermediate term? How do our staffing needs change and what skill sets do we need to get us through this season?
  • As we work through planning for winter, it will help us to be thinking through the ice age as well. What will be true about the next 18-24 months due to the season that we are experiencing now? What opportunities do we have to bring the Gospel to the world around us in this new reality? How should we be adapting our approach in order to take advantage of this?
At Chemistry, we are committed to walking with you through the blizzard, the winter, and the ice age. We have adapted our offerings in this season to be able to partner with you regardless of the stage that you are in. If you are just trying to wrap your head around how to survive the blizzard, head over to our COVID-19 response page where we outline some ways we might walk alongside you (with social distancing in mind, of course) or let's find some time to talk.

If you are attempting to navigate the winter, we can help learn how to lead remotely, create and implement a strategy for the winter, or help you humanely say goodbye to staff members you cherish.

Lastly, as you prepare to make the long-term adaptations required to lead well through the ice age, we'd love to serve as a travel companion. I'd love to learn more about what you are thinking and see how we can help you and your team adapt your strategy for the next phase of your ministry. Click here to schedule a conversation (no obligation).

The team and I continue to pray for you as you serve the Kingdom.



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