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!
Speaking with clergy around the country during the pandemic, I have heard a universal sense of loss over the dramatically diminished number of personal interactions with members, staff, and the community. Pastors, ministers, rabbis, and priests today are suffering—they are relationship experts at a time when it is challenging to put that expertise to work.
Confidentiality is a term of art in ministry. It evokes the seal of the confessional: most people expect, when they talk to clergy, that what they say will go no further. This is perhaps the most widespread expectation people have of clergy, and one most of us try hard to honor. Unfortunately, keeping confidences is not as simple than it sounds.