God’s peace to you in these turbulent days. We join you in prayer for our world.
This time of COVID-19 continues to shape our lives in ways that will forever change us. And yet we know that whether we are sick, grieving, dying, stressed, lonely, exhausted, despairing – hurting in any way – that God walks with us. Jesus enters into the most vulnerable, difficult, and painful places in our lives and brings healing, hope, and new life. That is the message of Easter. And we cling fast to it in this season.
LEAD has been busy, walking closely with church leaders who are navigating so much change. Many are overwhelmed with the shelter in place directives that have pushed them to do worship, pastoral care, confirmation, bible study, and meetings in new ways. Others are managing food, clothing, and relief ministries that need to be completely redesigned. And most are struggling with finances.
In the past few weeks, LEAD has been listening to what church leaders need. And we have responded, offering: listening platforms like Coffee Hour and Happy Hour and the Innovation Lab; support like “LEADing in Crisis: Holistic Care for Faith Leaders” and “Come to Me: Devotions for Weary Church Leaders.” And in the season of Lent and Easter, where worship is one of our emphases as the people of God, LEAD has offered a webinar on digital worship and digital Holy Week Worship Liturgies. And all of it FREE. Thousands have accessed these resources with deep gratitude. As one pastor wrote…
“Blessings on you for the amazing help you’re giving us. I donated and became a partner yesterday, and will continue to donate. I didn’t even know you were there until COVID-19. We’re finding that the Spirit is pushing us past our comfort zones and into the world in so many ways. So glad you’re there to walk alongside us.”
The Spirit has been guiding our work and we are moving to the next stages of support and leadership. In the planning stages are:
- Lead Journey Online: Our most subscribed and successful program will now also be offered as a digital resource that can keep the congregations already engaged on track and make the Lead Journey accessible to new congregations.
- Manna: A new program for congregational teams to deepen their faith through the power of story.
- Build as We Fly: A new program for church leaders to lead effectively through crisis and change.
- Podcast: A collaborative effort with Faith+LEAD (Luther Seminary) that will address the current crisis and offer insights for church leaders.
- Digital Worship: Worship is a key part of making disciples and we want to help congregations do it well. We are developing resources for a new era of digital worship by engaging writers, technology specialists, musicians, artists and others.
We know you have a heart for growing the faith. We know you believe that lives are changed when we reach people in new and fresh ways with the message of the gospel. We know you are our partners in this ministry. Can you help us?
We have an unprecedented opportunity to deepen faith as the Holy Spirit beckons us to new chapters in the story of God’s people. With your help, we can work with more church leaders to help them take advantage of the moment we are in and continue to offer the resources and support to our church leaders that are critical. Your gift will help us do that!
Rev. Louise Johnson
Director of Leadership Development
P.O. Box 541
Bellaire, TX 77402-0541