From the General Presbyter
So…how do we accomplish the ends, within the current means?
That depends. If I asked you that two months ago, you might be in the throws of worrying about the usual stuff; you know, stewardship, new members, or young families. Now what might you say? What are your ends now? To keep the “church” open? Keep members engaged? Take advantage of the social media presence and maximize it? Figure out a way to open when the way is clear? Will the way ever be clear?
There is no wrong answer. But perhaps, the ends have shifted. One webinar I attended had some really good food for thought that I will share with you. It was hosted by William Vanderbloemen of Vanderbloemen Consulting and it was entitled, Reopening Church after COVID-19 . One panelist asserted that regardless of the programming and streaming and zooming, it is crucial to realize that “paying the relational rent” is still the priority. Meaning, the relationships between pastor and people, leaders and congregants, church and community must stay strong and even increase. Another online conversation featuring Diana Butler Bass, an American Historian, included a study of ministries that thrived during the Great Depression. Those ministries that grew were contextual and community based, while the mainline churches experienced decline. Note to self: stay engaged and stay connected.
Over the next weeks, we will be featuring ideas and resources for the next phase: reopening buildings and gathering in the same space as well as other best and future practices. We will also continue to provide financial assistance for churches in the form of relief and technology grants. Watch the website ! But don’t get distracted by the building again! Focus on the relationships and the connections. You will be glad you did!