Three Post-Quarantine Ministry Questions

I have been blessed over the past six months to lead a coaching group through Gospel@Center. We have an incredible group of leaders who desire to learn and be better at what God has called them to do. What a surprise that our six months of coaching would include figuring out a pandemic together. I have learned more from them during this season than I’m sure they learned from me.

During one of our calls, I posed three questions to them to encourage us all to reflect on what God was teaching us during this time.

1. If I had known this shut down was coming six months before, what would I have done differently to prepare? The day after church shut down, I realized I had 75 volunteers and 120 families to check in on without a refined system of care. I have great leaders, but not a great system for having others connect and care for those in our ministry. I also quickly realized which rolls and contact lists had not been updated in awhile. Those are super easy fixes, but were not systems that I had paid a lot of attention to. This shut-down gave you a peek into what systems you have in place and which you don’t. You have the opportunity now to refine those pieces of your ministry.

Maybe instead of systems, you realized priorities within your ministry were out of kilter. Much of what we did in February didn’t work in March. Several in our group mentioned that if they had known the quarantine was coming, they would have better equipped the parents in their church to lead their kids spiritually at home.

2.What is the greatest insight I learned about my ministry during this season?  Most of us have had an “a ha” moment. We lost the usual metrics we depend so much on. Usually our “success” is based on how many kids show up on a given Sunday. Well, for nine weeks that number has been ZERO. We’ve been forced into evaluating which parts of our ministry were transferable, which parts were non-negotiable, and which parts parents even cared about. We don’t need to ignore those lessons nor assume that they only apply to quarantine.

As mentioned above, our coaching group agreed that this quarantine opened our eyes to the fact that although we say we champion the idea that parents are the primary disciple-makers of children, we weren’t functioning that way. Our ministries were not designed to support that. This “a-ha” is a major insight to our ministries.

3. How will my ministry be different going forward? We don’t need to return to business as usual. I fiercely believe that God put us in this situation for a reason. Pay close attention to the lessons you need to learn. You have every opportunity to change whatever needs to be changed in your ministry. Did you discover broken systems? Fix them! Did you discover skewed priorities? Make whatever changes it takes to realign.

This is an incredible time of opportunity! As nasty as this pandemic has been, I believe God is also offering us a chance to step out of the grind and the routine. We get to see what is broken or unnecessary and change it. Don’t waste it.

These three questions can give you a great foundation for conversations with others. Ask them to others and learn from their insights. Ask your staff. Ask your peers. Ask your key volunteers. Ask key parents in your ministry. Let’s learn what we can from this crazy time.

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