Adjusting to a new Church Norm
Updated: Oct 28, 2020
The world has changed. The Christian mission has not. The gospel is about transformation yet many of us are not prepared to change. I'll briefly discusses what you need to consider to adjust to a new norm. If you are running a ministry or a local church and need help with a new strategies get in touch. Details below.
The world has changed, however, our Christian mission has not. Yet, the gospel is about transformation, so how can we adjust in the current environment? Here are some concepts to discuss, and perhaps take action on.
HEART MIND ACTIONS
Most agree, it’s easier to keep doing what we’ve done before. However, Proverbs 4:23 reminds us that whatever we harbour in our hearts, leads to the mind conceiving thoughts. Our thoughts then turn into actions some of which might be erroneous! A lack of adaption or change might mean we become irrelevant. There’s a possibility that we could miss an opportunity to develop our collective mission Matthew 28: 19-20.
Some leaders have returned or are keen to return to their places of worship since the easing of lockdown. It’s understandable because as a faith community, we are familiar with the rituals of gathering and worshipping together. However, according to barna.org, the average amount of returnees range between 30%-50% of the usual congregation. What will become of those can’t or choose not to attend AND what about all those new online visitors you gained during lockdown? How will you disciple them?
Some local churches have successfully adapted to online, live recordings from in-person services. Regular and creative communication with their congregants, optimised by technology has been key to their success.
In Christian traditions we’ve become great at using special language (some call it Christianese!). Christianese is theological language which means nothing to those outside the Church world. We therefore, appear to be an exclusive club few can join. Many people are looking for our brand of faith, but we may need to adapt the way we communicate it.
Research shows that there has been an exponential rise in searches for God, Faith and Hope (amongst others) since the start of the pandemic. Imagine if we positioned ourselves to offer hope, build faith and introduce people to God’s love?
GO WHERE PEOPLE ARE
It’s unlikely that people will walk into your church building in this season unless they already know your assembly. Jesus met the people where they were. Take the Samaritan woman, the tax collector Zacchaeus. We can do the same.
But where are the people? Well, billions are smartphone users access the internet, or receive SMS through their phones. We also have infinite opportunities to reach people for the gospel e.g. in-person, social media, podcasts, email, phone calls etc, if we’re prepared to adapt.
Minister Madge Obaseki is founder of Grow The Church Now a service to churches around the world who need to improve the way they engage and retain congregations. Madge hosts the weekly Healthy Church Growth Show podcast featuring fellow Christian ministers, church leaders and experts in their field to address challenges and share solutions. The podcast can be found on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and other podcast platforms. She's also an author.