While some are ending their school year or even graduating, in the church world many are entering into a time of transition. This is a time when there is soon to be a change of pastoral leadership. This could be a senior pastor or an associate pastorate. This is a time of transition for both the clergy and the congregation. This is certainly an anxious time for the clergy, but it is also a time of anxiousness for the congregation. Both are entering into a time of uncertainty, unknowns, and likely fear at some level. At the same time, this can also be a season of great opportunity. Add to it the opportunity provided to the church through the pandemic, and you have the church set up for a grand slam! Don’t sit in the dugout and miss your chance at bat!
How can a pandemic be an opportunity? And, how can a pastoral change be an opportunity? How can both of them happening together be a grand slam opportunity? I am so glad you asked! Both of these events cause not just an interruption, but the pandemic certainly blasted us with an outright disruption. Things didn’t just pause. Things stopped and will not restart in the same way. When new leadership arrives, we have the opportunity to see, hear, and understand our context with a fresh perspective. Now when you add these two circumstances together, the church has all kinds of new possibilities. Those ministries that needed to end years ago, but had too much baggage or collateral damage attached has already been halted and does not need to be resurrected. The calendar already went blank, so there is no need to start copying the 2019 calendar over to our current calendar like we did in the past. Start with just a few fresh, new, relevant ministries that the church can do with excellence that meet the current needs in your mission field.
Use those fresh eyes of a new leader to view your mission field. Not only is s/he offering fresh eyes, but the mission field has likely changed to some degree or another during this pandemic year. Take nothing for granted. Question and check everything. Is your vision still relevant? Can it still be a driving force in the life of the church causing momentum, excitement, growth, vitality, and generosity? How are you creating a space for people in your neighborhood to find community (not church) community/ meaningful relationships with their peers? How is your church a vital part of the heartbeat of the community? Would anyone miss the church if you closed tomorrow?
Here are some resources you might consider to help you take advantage of this time whether you are in a leadership transition and emerging from the pandemic or you are only navigating the waters of emerging from the pandemic. Either way, there is an opportunity that must not be missed.
- IMPACT! Reclaiming the Call of Lay Leadership (Chapter 8 specifically speaks to transitioning as a time for impact.)
- Being the Church in a Post Pandemic World (Bonus Section: Ultimate Relaunch Playbook)
- The Change Over Zone by Jim Ozier
- Transitional Coaching
If your congregation would like to take full advantage of this grand slam opportunity by having an experienced coach to help you bat as close to1.000 as possible, contact Coach Kay for On-Boarding opportunities, transitional coaching, Relaunch training, or Game Changers for the Post Pandemic Church Cohorts.
Friends, embrace this golden opportunity and milk it for all that it is worth. You are likely to not be gifted this golden ticket to the world series again in your lifetime. Don’t waste it! It is time to step up to the plate and swing boldly! The bases are loaded and you are up to bat. Go for it!