As I talk with pastors, it is clear that many of them are not going back to their pre-Covid time schedules. They are reallocating time spent on worship, education, governance, mission, and administration to align with new, post-Covid realities. Some are doing this intentionally; others are just winging it. As a rule, intentionality will bring better results than winging it!
Talking with another clergyperson recently, we bemoaned the current spike in COVID-19 infections and the Delta variant. Congregations were moving in the direction of “opening up” again for indoor worship and activities. All systems were go, it seemed.
But then many congregations, in an abrupt retreat, slowed down or modified reopening plans. The ink on books about the “post-pandemic church” was hardly dry as we found ourselves thinking about a possible longer arc of this health crisis.
Suddenly my colleague blurted out, “Maybe I don’t want to do this hard thing.”
As a young minister, I often wondered, “How am I doing?” It was a good question! But at midlife I began to ask, “How am I helping others to succeed?”
At moments of re-centering, we can follow a renewed sense of calling.
Clergy often try to change their congregations, and a rule, their efforts meet resistance. It hurts to be seen as a threat by the very people you are trying to serve, but when a leader’s first move is to advocate for change, that’s generally what happens.
by John Wimberly
Pastor Jones arrives at St. John’s Methodist Church and, shortly thereafter, the congregation begins to grow. Father James arrives at a healthy congregation and, over the next decade, the congregation experiences a steady decline in vitality. Pastors, priests, rabbis and other clergy matter. Their performance is a key to the performance and healthy of a congregation; not the only key, but a powerful key..read more…
by Sarai Schnucker Rice
“While I understand the reasons for believing the pastor needs to be the primary evaluator of staff, my personal concern comes from my sense of overwhelm-ment I already experience sometimes with this work. There is not enough time to do all that needs to be done…” This is the comment of a student in a webinar I’m leading on aspects of small church ministry. And I get it. I, too, feel as if I don’t have enough time to do all that needs to be done. (read more)