COVID Consultant Fatigue and One Nugget of Gold

I’m burned out on COVID consultants. When the lockdown started I couldn’t subscribe to enough webinars or download enough PDFs. I had a sense that this was a critical season in our church. In The Church. And I didn’t want to miss the window of opportunity to lead well and catalyze Kingdom movement.

Now I’m just ready for it to be over. I’m tired of the webinars and PDFs. And I just want to get back to pastoring.

But this is not a time to get lazy as a leader. Or choose the path of least resistance as we prepare to reboot our Sunday gatherings (that path, btw, leads back to “how we did things before”).

Of all the content I have consumed during this lockdown season, one piece of advice has stuck, and has made a difference in how our church is preparing for our reboot. It came from The Malphur’s Group. Three perspectives to lean into during this leadership season:

  1. Remember what hasn’t changed.
  2. Accept what has to change.
  3. Leverage what gets to change.

That’s it. Three simple perspectives to hold in tension as I lead our staff and cast vision for regathering to our people.

Remember what hasn’t changed.

Jesus is still the hope of the world. And he still chooses to use his church to accomplish his purposes on this earth. In the end, Jesus wins. And the mission hasn’t changed. At our church we say it this way: Our church exists to invite people to know and follow Jesus. I’m sure your church has a similar mission. Remind your people that this has not changed.

Accept what has to change.

It doesn’t do any good to ignore what this season has done to your context. Or to just hope it will all be “undone” when the lockdown is finally over. Things are different. Effective leadership in this season means we start the conversation about what has changed and isn’t changing back, and how our strategies need to adjust.

Leverage what gets to change.

This one is the most fun for me. There’s certainly some “low-hanging fruit in this category—”can’t hand out bulletins anymore, sorry.” Or “it just makes more sense to put offering boxes in the back of the room instead of passing the plate.” There are probably some tactical battles you have been fighting, and now is your window of opportunity…

But think bigger as well. What longer-term vision have you been praying for and working toward, that maybe now is the time for it to gain some traction? Your church has come through a season where the “Sunday event” has become less primary to your understanding of the church. That’s a good thing. Talk about that when you regather. The church is not a place you go, it’s a people you belong to.

Here’s another example. Kids are going to be in the service with mom and dad for a season. The Worship Ministry team will probably call this something to “accept.” The Kids Ministry team will view it as something to “leverage.” Either way, it’s an opportunity for your church to Grow Young.

Remember what hasn’t changed. Accept what has to change. Leverage what gets to change. All three of these perspectives are important as you lead the reboot of your Sundays.

Don’t miss your window.