How to Thrive as a Post-Pandemic Church

Written by Laura Archambault on Apr 08, 2021 in Pastoral Helps

4 Min Read

It’s been over a year since we could safely hug or see loved ones without masks or screens between us. The pandemic has worn us down in ministry, work, education, family, and health.

One morning I burst, “I can’t wait for everything to go back to normal.”

God’s Spirit responded clearly, “It’s not supposed to be normal after this.”

I knew in an instant what He meant. I believe the post-pandemic Church has an opportunity we haven’t seen in decades. As the pandemic wrecked our lives, God fully intends to rebuild things better than before. But how? What is the Church supposed to do in an uncertain future? What is the new “better than normal”?

If you are a church or ministry leader, you need two things to cast a post-pandemic vision.

1. Clarify and Renew Your Purpose

First, you must have a clear sense of purpose.

It may feel impossible to plan when we can’t see the future, so let’s start with the needs of our present-day so we can be clear on our purpose.

First, let’s look at the issues the pandemic has created or exposed. Brian Hardin, with Daily Audio Bible, once shared his approach when facing hardship. Instead of seeking the fastest escape, he looks around to make sure he doesn’t miss whatever lesson the hardship can teach him. I think this is critical to becoming wise overcomers.

So let’s look around. In the pandemic, we saw depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts; racial, gender, and wealth inequality. In your area, you may have many who lost family members, health, jobs, housing, or access to basic necessities.

Needs that might have gone unnoticed are now recognized as essential. But with so many needs, how do you know where to start? Try narrowing your scope. Look at those in your ministry and ask them what their troubles are. What resources would make a difference? If you assume you know what people need, you can miss the most critical needs. People tend to hide their issues under the surface.

The post-pandemic Church needs a clear renewal of purpose. That’s why we started with needs. Once you research the needs in your community, you’ll find yourself compelled by purpose. If you were complacent, you might have found yourself daydreaming (like me) about the wonderful comfort of returning to normal. Don’t be so eager for things to go “back to normal” that you miss that God was trying to wake you up all along. He is fiercely trying to grab our attention to join in the urgent work He is doing.

Need something? We’d love to help. Whether you’re feeling called and unsure where to start, or you’re a seasoned ministry leader who needs some support, our specialists are friendly people who are called to support others in ministry. Give us a call at 877-494-4655 or click the link below to schedule a call with one of our specialists.

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2. Strategize Solutions

After clarifying the purpose, the post-pandemic Church needs strategic solutions. If God has made it clear that there’s a new normal, we need to be willing to embrace changing strategies in a changed world.

What strategies should your church adopt? Since we don’t know the future, the best thing you can do is go to the One who does. Since you now know the needs you’re called to meet, go directly to the Father in prayer and ask: Are the current strategies effective? If not, what strategies should you adopt? We’ll list some methods that have been prominent in the pandemic but don’t skip asking God directly for your personal strategy.

  1. Increased Tech Options- when people could not attend in-person services, it was necessary to offer options like online services and keep online platforms updated. As society proceeds after the pandemic, many people will continue to benefit from these options.
  2. Online Churches- there is a movement toward online churches that goes a step beyond streaming services. Online churches break the mold of traditional brick-and-mortar services and provide even greater flexibility. You can minister regardless of physical boundaries or time.
  3. Small Groups/House Churches- when large gatherings are not allowed, one option is to restructure your meetings into small groups or worship in small house churches. Not only does this allow greater flexibility, but it can provide a strong sense of belonging when many are feeling isolated.
  4. Out-of-the-box Church/Ministry- Maybe none of these is a fit for your body of believers, and you’re called to develop an entirely new system for church or ministry. Start with the needs you’re called to meet and decide: does your current format accomplish what it needs to? If you’re called to reach working-class individuals who primarily work on Sunday morning, what other options could you use to disciple this group? If you’re called to impact a group without access to technology, how can you make sure you are accessible? 

    Equipped for the Call

While the pandemic has shaken things up, the post-pandemic Church has every reason to confidently move forward with purpose and strategy.

After all, our God loves a good paradox. It was through death that he brought life. It is in our weakness that His strength is revealed. And in times of brokenness, He emerges a great Healer. So if you’re not sure what the future holds, have peace. There’s no better situation to be in than realizing we don’t have the answers and depend on Him.

If you are called to start a new church or ministry in this exciting time, we are thrilled for you! We would love to partner with you to make it a breeze navigating the 501(c)(3) process. Check out our StartRIGHT Service, or click the link below to find out how we can serve you in stepping into your calling.

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Please feel free to comment. We always appreciate good dialogue. However, we do moderate each comment to ensure that it is on topic and not derogatory to other participants. We ask that you keep your comments brief and pertinent to the topic so that others may benefit.

Blessings,
Raul Rivera


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