with Rev. Louise Johnson

This week I was captivated by this Sonya Renee Taylor quote that our LEAD friend and colleague Pastor Dan Kuckuck posted on Facebook. Taylor writes:

We will not go back to normal. Normal never was. Our pre-corona existence was not normal other than we normalized greed, inequity, exhaustion, depletion, extraction, disconnection, confusion, rage, hoarding, hate and lack. We should not long to return, my friends. We are being given the opportunity to stitch a new garment. One that fits all of humanity and nature.

I read this and I wonder how the church can participate in the stitching of this new garment for all. And I get overwhelmed.

It is a lot to think we can undo greed, inequity, exhaustion, hate… and the list goes on. The world is tuned to it. Addicted even. And left to our own devices, our propensities are clear.

Still, we know that there is a source of power for transformation, for forgiveness, for love, for daily bread, for life and healing and giving that we are charged to steward. So how will we do that?

What does it mean to pivot in this crisis and become the church that God is calling us to be and not return to “normal”?

That’s not a simple question. And these are not simple times.

In the past few weeks, you have re-engineered worship, pastoral care, youth ministry, confirmation, bible study, small groups, and the like. Not to mention all the work you are doing around staffing, resources, finances, giving, and property.

There have been so many immediate demands that conversations and thoughts about the future have understandably taken a back seat.

Which is why it is all the more important that you carve out time to climb up into the leadership balcony with other leaders and engage an intentional process of discernment about the next chapters of ministry.

How do we make sense of what is going on?

How do we have eyes to see the Spirit’s invitation in the midst of crisis?

How can we build leadership muscle to invite others into the questions?

How do we develop new mental maps so that we don’t miss the chance to be church that this crisis is creating?

LEAD can help.

Build as We Fly: Innovation in a time of crisis engages you in deep reflection about what has been happening and strategic thinking about what it might mean for the future of your congregation. LEAD is offering a six-session course for pastors or for individual congregational teams with their pastors that will help you:

  • build spiritual resiliency to lead change in high personal and professional anxiety
  • learn how framing a crisis sets the stage for future work
  • build muscle for observation and imagination
  • identify and form the right leadership team within your congregation for this season
  • deepen your capacity not only to think about change, but to plan and act strategically
  • reflect on and learn from failure/mistakes