If you are a church leader, odds are you have either moved back into your facility and started regathering in person, or you are about to.
And with vaccines on the rise and restrictions being lifted, many churches (even in California) have started to regather inside a building.
We, at Real Life Church, just started a few weeks before Easter. If you want to hear how why we waited so long, and how we decided to move in, check out this podcast where my cohost Brad Williams and I discussed it.
But now that we are in, I’ve quickly learned 3 things to watch out for…
1 • Food trucks v Barista.
Andy Stanley once shared in a staff meeting that for years the churches think and act like baristas at your local coffee shop: “We are here waiting for you.”
But, since Covid, people have learned to live without the church. Now, we need think more like a food truck: “We are headed to you.”
Come to think of it, this is what Jesus had in mind in the first place when he said “Go into all the world…” Just because we now have the luxuries of a building and gatherings again, let’s not forget to maximize our online presence, our service projects, and our outreach efforts.
2 • Since you’ve been gone
While some people in your church watched every service you did online, followed your daily devos on Facebook, and even attended every drive in event you offered over the last year, many just said “I’ll see you when you reopen.”
It’s been said it takes 66 days for a new habit to become automatic, and many of our church attenders had over 300 days of NOT going to a church building.
So, make some efforts to catch them up on what they’ve missed. Our incredible Creative Arts department at RLC put together this video to the tune of Kelly Clarkson’s “Since You’ve Been Gone”.
3 • Watch out for the valleys
For many Pastors the toughest seasons are after the last victory. Post Christmas, post Easter, and yes… Post re-gathering. We’ve waited so long to get back together, and while the first weekend might have been great, the weekend tha follow can feel anticlimactic.
Unfortunately this is where the enemy does his best work. He can cause you to question your effectiveness, your worth, your value, and even your calling. Many of us who already struggle with mental health issues can find dark days as we seemingly walk through the valley of the shadow of death.
Remember to take care of yourself. Rest. Exercise. Find a life giving hobby. Share your life with trusted friends. And most of all, remember who your shepherd is that leads you through this valley.
For more, check out podcast episode “Overcoming Discouragement in Leadership”.