Rethinking ministry from here: Facebook live

18 May 2020

Whether you’re as busy as ever, been furloughed, or something inbetween, this Covid-19 season gives us a unique opportunity to think and pray through where to take our ministry next.

Normal is no longer normal, we’re doing things differently or not at all, and we are finding out new things about our families and churches. In one of our Lunch with Rachel Facebook lives for children’s, youth and families leaders, Rachel suggested some steps that can help us evaluate what we’re doing at the moment. Then as we start to think about ‘going back’, however far off that may seem,we can work out what we want to do differently and what we want to keep.

You can watch Rachel in full here or scroll down for a quick summary of her main points.

Before you launch into the five steps, take a moment to jot down everything that used to exist in your old ministry world: not just your groups and clubs, but pastoral care, meetings, services …

Capture what is happening right now

Not just what you’re doing but what insights you’re getting. Because in times of change, you learn a lot about others by how they respond and cope. Ask yourself questions like: what do my families engage with? How are they coping emotionally? Similarly, how is your senior leadership dealing with things? What are their priorities? How is my church community functioning? This is all helpful information that will inform your decisions.

Think about how you want to build on the patterns you establish now

Ask yourself: what am I doing now that I really value and don’t want to lose when we go back to the way it was before? Which habits and patterns of engagement might I want to keep? What is good stuff that you don’t want to drop?

Dream about the things you’ve always wanted to do

Because everything’s stopped or is being done differently, this is a great opportunity to plan changes without it disrupting everything. Think about what you want to stop / start / restructure. You have time to research, write the proposal, gather team for it, find resources, do the budget, talk to senior leadership.

Begin to use this time for team training

What training do you want to push into that you now have time to? Use small groups, send out videos and invite feedback, give them books or articles to read, help them learn from each other.

Where you are still ministering, think about how you see fruit now

It can be difficult to replicate your group or activity within the restrictions imposed on us. But if you start by working out what the fruit of that group was (for example, a tots group provided a safe, welcoming place for parents where they met Christians who loved them, and stimulating play for the kids), you can then problem solve how to do it now so that you get the same fruit. It may look very different but it will produce the same fruit.

Questions Rachel answered:

  • What advice do you have for helping senior leaders understand these opportunities when they are paddling furiously just to stand still?
  • My job is changing. How would you go about making a framework when I can’t really capture what the new communities I am going to are engaging with etc?
  • Any suggestions to how encourage engagement from families without overwhelming them with more ‘stuff!’
  • Any thoughts on how to increase your ways of ‘capturing’ if you aren’t seeing families through Zoom and don’t want to bombard with emails etc?
  • I’m doing weekly singing times but am only getting about 10 views per week, when we get about 70 people at the physical toddler group! I’m not sure of the best way to keep connected. I do have plans to send each family a craft pack next week but other ideas would be appreciated.


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