Quick start Guide for a New Season

Introduction 

We have finally reached the threshold of the post pandemic season. Congregational leaders surveying the environment view pews not filled, low leadership energy, and anxiety about next steps.

As with any new season the first steps need to be taken. The Post Pandemic Challenge encourages congregational leaders to be bold in taking the next steps. There are no certainties or historical data to guide us on what will happen next. Faith and Hope light the path into this new season.

The challenges are designed to be taken in order.  The first three challenges have “Quick Start” instructions for taking next steps.

Challenge OneRebuild Energy – “What is One Thing new we can do now?”

*Quick Start Steps: 

  • Schedule 2 – 2 1/2 hours for Session members and 2-4 chosen key congregational leaders to meet with a facilitator.
  • In advance of the meeting, each Session member and key leader will be asked to individually complete and submit a worksheet that identifies the church’s vocation (why the congregation exists) and the church’s values (3-4 one-word beliefs to which the church holds).
  • In support of the identified mission and values, and in acknowledgement of the unique post-pandemic context of each congregation, time will be dedicated to Dwelling in the Word and brainstorm new initiatives for (or revised approaches to) ministry/mission opportunities.
  • Create a focus on one initiative which generates the most excitement and embodies the values and vocation of this particular faith community.
  • Design implementation steps and timelines.

Quick Start Steps Documents:

Challenge One Quick Start steps
Dwelling in the Word Instructions Matthew 25
Vocation of the Church Worksheet
Action Plan Implementation Worksheet

Grant Opportunity: $1000 Grants will be available for new projects related to Challenge One. Grant Applications will be available after October 1.

Challenge Two: Refocus Vision – “What did we learn?”

 Congregations were originally founded in a unique contextual moment.  In many cases, the initial vision has long since faded or rarely been revisited and reshaped.  As an end result, an unintended feedback loop has been created that recycles previous programs but with few accommodations for different results.  Intentional effort to discern God’s call to create fresh vision for mission and ministry, by asking what did we learn, can break the loop and create new or refreshed vision.   The focus in this gathering will be to discern a vision statement that will guide the church’s planning and focus.

Quick Start Steps:

  • Schedule a 2 to 2.5 hour event with session members and other church leaders.
  • Together Dwell in the Word
  • Brainstorm on blooms, thorns and buds
  • God has a vision for your congregation conversation
  • What are steps to refocus on vision

Quick Start Steps Challenge Two documents

Challenge Two Refocusing Vision

Flowers Thorns and Buds

God has a Vision for Us

Mutual Invitation Resource

A Rose

Vision Plan Examples

Challenge ThreeTrack Essentials “How are we doing on our Foundational functions?”

Congregations meticulously track and report finances which then defines their health and direction.  During the pandemic, the foundational elements may have gone astray or changed. Now is the time to do a “deep dive” to check in on the foundational elements that may have gotten lost or dropped or added during the pandemic.  This challenge is to review your foundational elements, to bring into alignment those elements that have been neglected or lost and to fine tune and celebrate the new elements that became part of the life of the church during the pandemic.

Quick Start Steps to be added soon.

Challenge FourMaintain Energy  “What are ways we can continue to grow into the new season of the church?”

Ongoing emotional and spiritual formation, and the development of leadership skills, for church leaders may have  languished during the pandemic and perhaps even before. It is crucial for church leaders to engage  in the changing church landscape with the needed skills and tools of the new environment.  Challenge Four is to maintain the energy created by the first three challenges by developing and fine tuning the leadership skills needed to move into the new future.

Quick Start Steps coming soon.