It goes without saying that this has been a challenging, heart-wrenching year for most people… and for most congregations. We are now going through a threshold, as we depart 2020 and pass through the doorway leading into 2021. We are leaving a year full of COVID-induced fear and despair, and entering a new year that promises hope in the form of vaccines. As we step forward, our hope is bolstered by God’s continued promise to accompany us on every step of our journey. Our hope is also bolstered by the proven resilience and adaptability of our congregations in the face of the pandemic.
As your congregation walks through this threshold, the time is ripe for leaders to discern the future. It is the right time to re-shape how your congregation will BE in this eventual new, post-pandemic world. On the heels of the disruptions and adjustments caused by the pandemic ripples, congregations are now called to reevaluate how best to remain true to their Mission. Rather than simply waiting to react to what 2021 has in store… congregations are now called to pro-actively participate in shaping the “new normal”.
It is a good time for congregational leadership to discern who you are, where you are at, and where you want to go. Consider the following questions to get your discussion going:
- What is it about your congregation that gives you the most hope/does the most good?
- Who or what are the biggest assets in your congregation?
- If your congregation disappeared tomorrow, what would the community miss?
- If you could change one thing about your congregation today, what would it be?
- What gets in the way of your congregational goals?
- If someone gave your congregation $1 million dollars, what would you do with it?
- What have you learned in dealing with the pandemic? What lessons and practices will you carry forward beyond the pandemic?
Now is the acceptable time to discern how you will walk through the threshold that leads to 2021… not with fear and trepidation, but with hope and sprit-led agency.
Fred Stoltz, Sr. Program Director
The James Company