the shape of leadership

A Season to Pause and Refocus

Four things every ministry leader should be doing right now

Kent Ingle on April 21, 2020

During this pandemic, most church leaders are busily seeking solutions and innovations to keep their churches afloat — and understandably so. But should this season give us more reason to rest than rush?

The transition to online services has been a catalyst for church leaders to discover new and innovative ways to minister to the world today. Indeed, it is remarkable to see how the Church continues to thrive through this challenging time.

Between adapting to digital platforms to hold church services and learning ways to maintain discipleship and community online, ministry can quickly become more demanding for leaders than it was before. So, in this current situation, when is it time for church leaders to take a step back?

In times of crisis, we can put pressure on ourselves to do more, lead more and be everything to everyone. But some seasons call for us to pause, reflect and remember why we lead.

If ever there was a time to reset our purpose and focus as church leaders, it is now. Ministry leaders can use this time to do four things:

1. Draw closer to God. Embrace the stillness, and lean in to the opportunity to reset. Use this time to revive your solitude with the Lord and linger in His presence. Worship, study Scripture, and create space for the Holy Spirit to reveal God’s heart.

In the end, our call remains simple and clear: showing the love of Christ.

2. Pay more attention to people than programs. You are not leading a number, an audience or a streaming service. This can be an opportunity to minister to one person at a time, even if it is over the telephone.

3. Really listen to those you are leading. Don’t just speak. Hear what others are saying. Use platforms like Instagram and Facebook to ask how you can pray for your people. Provide opportunities for them to provide feedback and talk about how they are doing. What are their current burdens, and how can the church come together in this time to meet those specific needs?

4. Demonstrate Christ’s love. The demands and hustle remain for so many churches. But in the end, our call remains simple and clear: showing the love of Christ. That can include spending quality time with family, delivering groceries to an elderly neighbor, and sending handwritten notes to let specific people in the church and community know you are praying for them.

Finding the pause is seldom easy for church leaders. As you lead your church through this difficult time, look for the unique opportunities to grow, love and serve. Ask God to help you slow down and focus on the things that are closest to His heart.

Remember, it is His power that strengthens you. Isaiah 41:10 says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

God did not call you to do it all. He called you to serve Him and point people to Christ. And sometimes that involves being still and trusting in His strength (Psalm 46:1,10).

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