By Wayne Dinsbeer, Church Partnership Lead
This blog is being written on a day our nation is celebrating a group of people who have put their lives on the line day in and day out to save hundreds of thousands of lives during this pandemic and always. It is National Nurses Day. Morning News interviews show nurses in the New York hospitals expressing their feelings about their jobs as of late. One nurse called it working in a “War Zone in which you feel like you have to be serving”. Another stated, “… we aren’t just giving Medical Care, but we are providing Compassion.” We should all be very thankful for these who serve others with such commitment and compassion.
The news anchors talk much about the way things have become as being our “New Normal”. Such things as continued social distancing and the wearing of masks in public places. Businesses are having to make drastic changes and adjustments just to remain open. In just a matter of weeks our world has been turned upside down. The question is “Where Do We Go From Here?”
In Matthew 9 Jesus is eating with Matthew, the tax collector, and being ridiculed for socializing with persons of such ill reputation. His response we all know, “… those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.” In this statement Jesus was sending a message to all those present and future regarding the work of those calling themselves “Christ Followers”.
Fast forward a couple thousand years to post pandemic times. We certainly have a lot of people who are both physically and spiritually “sick” today. We also for certain have the mandate to take healing to these. Just like the testimonies of these nurses, we must attack our work with unwavering commitment, focus, and purpose.
Another given in this medical comparison is the realization and acceptance that, “Things aren’t the way they used to be”; “Old ways do not work for this situation”; “We Have to Attack Hardest Where the Outbreak is Greatest”; “Everyone Must Pull Together to Get the Job Done & Survive” ; “This Is No Time To Let Up”.
All of these we have heard in one fashion or another as we have watched history unfold before us. Now, take the “Medical” aspect out of the above statements and equations and return to Jesus’ response in Matthew 9 and make the application refer to the work of the Church. You can just as rightly apply each of these to the work we are called to do in our ministries.
By the way, for those allergic to the word “Change”. That ship has sailed!
My work with Here2There engages me with churches seeking to accomplish the Vision God has given them. We work with Pastors and Leaders to create their MAP (Ministry Action Plan) which is their strategy for mobilizing to meet the Goals and Objectives set forth in the Vision. The events of the past several months have not altered the Vision, but have certainly changed the Mission and Strategies which form their MAP.
Here are a few things you can consider as you seek to move ministry forward in this post pandemic era.
Conduct an Evaluation of Ministry Adjustments consider the following:
- Are we a strong body able to withstand extreme ministry circumstances?
- Are we able to have viable ministry to those young and old?
- Is our church able to adapt to change?
- Are we blessed with tech savvy members willing to move ministry forward?
- Is our ministry family web able to keep membership connected and engaged in the most difficult of circumstances?
- Does our ministry include an online option for giving to sustain us financially?
- Have new ministry methods enabled us to reach new people?
- While some were able to adapt amidst trying times, were any left out of the ministry loop of change?
- Were ministry changes communicated effectively allowing all members to make adjustments?
- How was our Connectivity with Members during this time?
- How was our Connectivity with our Community during this time?
Conduct a S W O T Analysis considering current ministry status:
- What are our STRENGTHS?
- What are our WEAKNESSES?
- What are our OPPORTUNITIES?
- What are our THREATS?
Moving Forward consider the following ministry steps:
- Continue online zoom classes for greater connectivity with all members and new people reached
- Could we live stream from each Bible Study class?
- Offer a Drive In service option each week as an Outreach Tool to reach new people in the community / A simple Radio Transmitter makes this possible
- Engage a regular opportunity for Drive In Prayer Ministry through the work of a Prayer Team Ministry
- Many in your community will have needs – food, jobs, care. Hold a Vision Strategy Planning meeting with leaders and members to brainstorm how you can engage in new ministry or step up your game with existing ministry to meet needs
- Have a designated Time of Prayer in each service specific for those impacted by virus – health, economic, mental, etc.
- Ask MST (Missionary Support Team) members to contact each Missionary with whom you partner to assess Care and Needs – organize means to meet as possible
- Ask church Leaders to contact each Member to assess Care and Needs – organize means to meet needs as possible
- Ask BIble Study Teachers of children and youth classes to contact each parent to assess Care and Needs – organize means to meet as possible
- Start a new Care Ministry Fund to assist with Care and Needs of others
- Meet with your Tech Team to discuss plans and ways for Moving Forward and how they will assist
These are just a few things to consider as you strive to do ministry in this time of life change and doing things in different ways than before. Here2There Ministries is purposed in working with Churches and Missionaries to advance their work, especially in this period. Many ministry items are on our website for your assistance and consideration at www.here2there.org. Our team would love the opportunity to speak with you about the specifics of your Vision, Mission, and Needs. If you have any questions or comments please email us at [email protected].