We are at the point in this pandemic adventure when “check-ins” abound. Those of us who work with multiple congregations ask each other the same questions:
- How are your churches doing these days?
- How are they doing worship?
- How are things financially?
- How is their missional impact?
And in all those conversations, I also hear the same answers:
- The churches that were thriving pre-pandemic are still thriving.
- The churches that were dying pre-pandemic are still dying.
Yep. Congregations that were already entrepreneurial, tech-savvy, and missional before March 15, 2020 continue to be so post March 15, 2020. And those slow to adapt in general (Why do we need online giving?) continue to struggle.
I want to say, “I told you so” to those churches more interested in their history than their future, but actually, I wish I were wrong. I wish the historic congregations, the inwardly-focussed congregations, the “we love our cemetery more than Jesus” congregations had a Holy Ghost Moment the second it looked like our normal was about to change forever. I wish those congregations felt a jolt from the Lord that moved them to reach out and reach up.
But the creative churches have become more creative and the anxious churches have become more anxious. This is a generalization, of course. And it’s not too late.
Look at what’s happening in your congregation and ask: Are we energized for what’s possible that wasn’t possible before? Are we reaching new people who couldn’t worship with us or connect with us before?
Or are you consumed with worry that “we’ll never get back to the way it was.”
Again, it’s not to late to make some shifts. What is God inspiring your church to do and be that you couldn’t do and be before? There are church leaders out there so ready to shepherd you into a new way of being and doing Church. Connect with them before the end of the week.
Image of the Sunflower Fields at Forks of the River Wildlife Management Area in Knoxville, Tennessee.
>>But the creative churches have become more creative and the anxious churches have become more anxious.<<
I would say it's the same with people. Creative people are figuring it out, and working in the new normal. Anxious people are still sitting on the sidelines, waiting to be rescued and returned to the world they used to know.