7 Ways CoVid 19 is Improving the Church

Below are a few things I hope that we, the Church, can realize in the middle of this pandemic. This is not a critique of ministries, rather, it is simply some thoughts about the positive impact that crisis can, and I believe will, have on the church. Much like the stock market that “corrects” in certain seasons, ministries often need correction. In Scripture, God often used crisis to draw His people back to Him. I believe that God can utilize this difficult time to bring needed change to His Body. 

Pastors, the following may offer some relief from the “performance” stress we’ve endured over the last many years. If you are weary of the demands to perform up to the standards of the few consumers who may come to your church, here is some good news.

During CoVid 19:

  • The standards of success are changing. It’s no longer the biggest or flashiest churches that are considered successful; faithfulness is increasingly being defined as success. 
  • Celebrity ministry personalities are being sifted out. What used to impress naive folks may be wearing thin. The times are demanding authenticity, people realize their need for a Pastor rather than a motivational speaker. The divide between persona and character is widening. People are seeing through the smoke and mirrors; spiritual discernment is being practiced on an increased level. Hirelings are being exposed. Those who are in ministry for the money or for the notoriety are giving up the ruse. Only the truly called will survive this crucible.  
  • There is an increased sense of urgency among many Christians. Petty differences are being laid aside and are being replaced by a renewed focus on sharing the Gospel with a needy generation.
  • Personal preferences in worship are increasingly being subjugated to what actually works to bring people to Jesus. Some of the changes that have been forced upon the church are resulting in more souls being impacted. Entertainment and showmanship are waning in the church. The “show” no longer gets the job done. People need real ministry and the pure work of the Holy Spirit is all that will suffice. 
  • There is a return to the simplicity of Scripture. We realize that the, “bells and whistles” of modern ministry are expendable, but the truth of Jesus is not. Things once considered as outdated and irrelevant ministry methods are increasingly being embraced as Biblical and effective. In times of crisis, many return to their godly roots.  
  • The Church is realizing her collective strength. What used to divide us is now serving to unite us. We are finding ourselves forgiving faster, overlooking weaknesses in others, honoring differences and embracing a heavenly Kingdom mindset. 
  • God seems to be purging His Church. Recall the Biblical example of the separation of the sheep and the goats (Matthew 25:31-46). This may be the time of distinguishing between the two. 

Churches and Pastors, we were built for this. This may be our opus maximus, our greatest opportunity for eternally productive ministry. Let’s redeem this time of crisis. Let’s allow the Holy Spirit to equip us to stand strong, win the lost, make disciples and finish strong. This marathon of ministry may be winding down. Stay focused, remain vigilant, adhere to the Word and listen to the Holy Spirit. 

This pandemic may actually become something wonderful for the Church. 

Healthy Pastor Healthy Church

13557721_10154376814459214_6871678460088746686_nIn order for churches and ministries to be healthy and productive, their leaders (pastors) must be healthy. When we think of health, we usually think only in terms of physical health; but a more holistic approach is needed. Too many of us limit our definition of health, and possibly limit our effectiveness in the ministry.

Let’s focus on our wellbeing in regard to a spiritual, relational, emotional, mental and physical point of view. Balance is needed in order for us to remain productive for the long term. The demands placed upon an individual by modern ministry are significant. We’ve all seen friends who did not survive the rigors of church leadership. It takes a strong person to remain active in ministry for many years. While we all agree that we must be spiritually healthy, let’s not ignore things like our physical condition. In today’s world of authenticity and transparency, we can appear hypocritical if we preach a Gospel that doesn’t include every aspect of our lives. If we are perceived as inauthentic or disingenuous, our ministries will suffer. If we are not growing intellectually, if our relationships are unhealthy, if we are unstable emotionally, our message will be hindered. Let’s fast and pray but let’s also gain education and work out.

Here is an idea to consider: these things are all connected. When we are healthy spiritually, our emotions, our health, our relationships and our mental capacities are impacted. We can’t truly say that we are healthy spiritually if we are ignoring vital aspects of our being. We can’t segregate the elements of our health. If the pastor is out of balance, the church will be out of balance. That’s what we call leadership.

Pastors, let’s take care of ourselves so that we can lead healthy and productive ministries but let’s also take care of ourselves so we can enjoy the benefits that God provides for healthy people.