Please watch this special message from Executive Director Steven Cole.
Hello Pastors and church leaders,
We all find ourselves in a new place in our leadership. I know that in our culture of divisive news and politics, it is hard to believe everything you hear from our media. But whether you agree with our nation’s leaders or not, there is a significant shift in what is needed from you and me as leaders. Over the last few days, many of you have decided to shut down your church gatherings and look for alternative ways to communicate with your congregation. I have watched many of you make announcements on social media about the closing of your church services, but if you have not yet made that decision, I ask you today to make that decision. If I believed that this was some attempt by our government to shut down the church permanently, I would be talking to you about very different things, but that is not what is happening right now. The President of the United States has asked us, for the next 15 days, to not congregate in groups larger that 10. To be honest, I am not sure that will be enough, but for now, I ask that you comply with our government’s request.
But more importantly, you are the shepherd of a group of people who look to you for leadership, and I know you are trying to figure out how to meet the needs of your church and your community. There is a lot for you to figure out quickly. At our conference this summer, we have Tod Bolsinger coming to speak to us about adaptive leadership in an ever-changing cultural landscape. When we get to July, we will have lived through the most significant exercise in adaptive leadership in our lifetime. From a societal perspective this will be more significant than 911. By the end of September 2001, our culture was already back to a “new normal.” We were watching sports on TV, we were back to flying, and we were picking up the pieces of that devastating Tuesday in September. This time, we are watching this new reality unfold in slow motion. Every day we get a new set of updates on what has changed for culture and we agonize over just how long this can continue.
This is where I am praying for you. The Church in North America has never been scattered like this before. The church has an opportunity to show the love and hope of Jesus Christ into a world that is freaking out!
You have some new things to learn this week. You must learn how to communicate with a group of people who you usually have captive for an hour or more each week. While your services may be shut down, technology allows for you to be able to communicate via video and social media. If this is new for you, please ask for help. Our office is ready to assist you, and I know that there is a millennial or Gen Z person in your life who could show you how to do this in minutes!
Below, in the text of this video, is a link to a post a friend of mine posted about communicating via video. http://mikegoldsworthy.com/wordpress/?p=175 This will be a new medium for many and communicating during crisis is not something that we do or a regular basis. I hope this resource is helpful to you as you seek to lead your congregation well.
Finally friends, Shortly after this video is released, there will be another video sent to our entire email list encouraging our church to find creative ways to serve during this crisis. Even though this new reality requires us to distance ourselves from each other. In that video, I will remind the church that our mission continues and our need to support local ministries during a time like this is vital to the mission of the church.
Our national leadership meets this week to work on the business of the Church. We will be in prayer for you when we are together, and we are committed to praying for you continually. May God bless you and empower you as you lead His church through this turbulent time.