Leading the Post-Covid Church (Series): 10 Critical Keys for Healthy and Effective Pastoral Ministry

leadership preaching Nov 23, 2021
Leading the Post-Covid Church (Series)
The Covid pandemic disrupted quite a bit of things in the church world. From shifting to online to re-gathering to realizing that we're all in church revitalization to varying degrees, a lot of pastors are feeling exhausted.
When a lot of us take a step back and reflect on and pray about what's next? we're still not sure. Because, let's be honest, the world has changed and the rate of change over the next five years seems like it will dwarf the rate of change of the past five years.
And as much as we don't want to admit it, the amount of people who have left seem to be far more than the people who left loudly. So many more people left without a word.
Yeah... a lot of pastors are exhausted. But there are also a lot of pastors who are grieving
  • Grieving what used to be
  • Grieving the momentum they had leading up to mid-March of 2020
  • Grieving the loss of so many who have passed
  • Grieving the loss of relationships
Some of us have been angry. We've grown bitter. We've identified more with Jonah than Daniel.
Others of us have been depressed. We don't like that word, but it's the most accurate. We're not sure that we can keep on fighting. The brain fog is disorienting. And when we look at ourselves in the mirror, it's hard to recognize the person looking at us let alone like the person looking at us.
So what do we do to move forward?
How can we be pastors who are healthy and effective?
In this series, Leading the Post-Covid Church, I want to give you 10 critical keys for healthy and effective pastoral ministry. My hope is that you'll take this series and share it with your team. Make it a conversation, determine what fits in your context, and move forward.

Leading the Post-Covid Church: 10 Critical Keys for Healthy and Effective Pastoral Ministry 

The Leading the Post-Covid Church series will consist of 10 separate articles on the following topics:
  1. The Rhythm of the Leader Paces the Rhythm of the Church // For some of us, Covid obliterated our regular rhythms. And it's time we reset, not just for our sake, but for the sake of the people we are entrusted to disciple. 
  2. The Presence of the Leader and the Anxiety of the Church // Whether you're dealing with another complaint or you're trying to guide people away from fear, anger, or despair and toward Jesus, your presence plays a big part in what they receive from you regardless of what you say.
  3. Re-Building Trust in an Increasingly Skeptical and Divided Society // One of the tragedies of everything that came along with this pandemic is the further relational isolation in people's lives. People are experiencing less person-to-person community and, instead, are perceiving reality through algorithms. Needless to say, trust is at alarmingly low levels not just in society as a whole, but even within local congregations.
  4. A Strategic Vision That Meets the Moment // A leader is tasked with the responsibility to identify current realities and create prayerful clarity around future direction. Continuing to focus only on short-term goals and challenges separated from a bigger picture isn't wise. 
  5. A Vintage Ministry Model for a New Day // What does it mean to "do ministry?" What does it mean to be a pastor in the 21st Century? What do we do? How do we do it? There have been a lot of innovations over the last 40-50 years. What is the path forward in our day and time? 
  6. A Digital Ministry Strategy // People spend a lot of time on their devices and connected to the internet. They're being discipled by these devices. So what should we do? Pour time and energy into digital as a ministry or warn of its dangers and encourage people to approach digital devices and content more wisely?
  7. Transformational Preaching // Is preaching still relevant? I absolutely believe it is. But the kind of preaching we do matters. We must preach for life-change. And while that is the goal of most every preacher, our approach needs to align with that goal. 
  8. Characteristics of a Post-Covid Pastor (Part 1): A Church Planter's Faith and Grit // What is it going to take to preach and lead well into the future? Well, all of a sudden, every church became, in many ways, a church that is starting over. As someone who has served at a church plant for many years, I believe that all pastors must tap into that faith and grit that church planters often have to lead well into the future.
  9. Characteristics of a Post-Covid Pastor (Part 2): A Church Revitalizer's Pastoral Heart and Priorities // But it's not just going to take a church planter's faith and grit. We've gotta also have a church revitalizer's pastoral heart and priorities. We must be rooted and strategic. Because post-Covid, we're all in a revitalization on some level regardless of our church's level of health prior to Covid.
  10. Two Ways Pastors Must Equip Their Congregation in the Post-Covid World // These two things have been constant needs, but we're at a point where it has to be a priority. We must equip our people to be missional in their neighborhoods and pastoral in their homes. 

Don't miss this practical help

I am super excited to bring all this content your way. I believe it may just be the path that many pastors need to get moving forward again. If you're not already, be sure to become a part of the Preach and Lead community who gets emails when new content is ready. You'll get a copy of the 10-Step Guide to Writing a Sticky Sermon and I'll let you know when the next article in this series is ready.

What are you most looking forward to?

As you read the parts of this series above, what parts have you already been thinking about and working toward? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter or in our Facebook group for pastors

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