Leading into 2022 with Confidence
By Trevor Anderson
With the disruption to church life over the last 18 months, we can start looking towards a better future together but some things may be necessary in this transition back to almost normal functioning…
Firstly, it will be good to cast or recast vision. For many churches, momentum ground to a halt as we went into hard lockdown last year. Some of that can be picked up again, and some plans may need to be left. But without vision the people perish. They need a compelling vision that God is still at work building His church and their part in that. What defines us is that we are people of faith and we trust the Lord in all circumstances. Make plans for 2022, commit them to the Lord and be willing to be flexible if things change. One of the lessons we have all learnt is how to be more flexible, because we have had to be.
Secondly, highlight the values that hold us together like unity, fellowship and gathering together. We have had to be understanding and accommodating of people who stayed away for all sorts of reasons, but it’s safer to gather now and apart from any resurgences it will be safer into the future as the pandemic fades. It’s good to remind people of these values that we all hold to and challenge people about their responsibility to the body of Christ.
Thirdly, consider raising the bar. If we keep commitment low and just work with whatever our people give us, it will be difficult to move forward and apathy will set in. Jesus constantly challenged His disciples so “ let’s spur one another on”. Some churches are reviewing what it means to be a member, others are updating membership lists to reflect who is still with them and who has left. We are probably going to have to work a bit harder to catch up to where we want to be so it will be necessary to spell out, especially to the leaders, what is required.
Fourthly, we have had a great opportunity to serve our communities through this crisis and that can continue. Let’s continue to look for ways to help rebuild and to honour those who have served. For example, how can we help the nurses and medical staff who were our frontline workers and who gave so much. Many of them dealt with death daily, saw many of their colleagues die and who worked to exhaustion through the waves of infections.
Fifthly, one of the biggest debates is going to be how we carry on with online and the balance with in person. Most of the leadership forecasts will say that “hybrid” churches or services are the future….seperate in person services and online services for those who will never return. We will each have to decide what is going to be best for us, as each church is unique. Look at your resources, your reach and ultimately your view of gathering together to determine what you will do.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Trevor is the senior pastor at Lighthouse Family Church in Gqeberha. He has served at Lighthouse faithfully since 2001. Trevor is married to Kim and they have a son called Ross.