These are demanding days for us all. In conversations with leaders across North America it’s clear the Covid 19 crisis is fundamentally changing what it means to be communities of God’s people. It is challenging what it means for us to be leaders in this time. You’re wrestling with issues of how to manage the profound implications of this crisis. This is not just in terms of developing and potentially continuing on-line worship or continuing pastoral care but is also about how to manage loss of income and continue financial support of our clergy – demanding challenges for us all.
We’re confronted with new questions about what things are going to look like as our economy re-opens and we discover whatever new normal might emerge. All kinds of proposals are popping up suggesting “indicators” of change or “trends” to watch. There are huge leadership questions to address. It’s clear that this period of crisis has been more than a dreadful hiccup. Something far deeper and more fundamental is happening. The tectonic plates of society are shifting in ways most of us could never have imagined. We’re going to need to respond to all these pressures and challenges. How we respond is not yet clear but what we do know for sure is that discovering and following the movement of the Spirit is the action that we need to take. At TMN, we have begun by co-sponsoring a series of conversations around the questions: “where are we?” and “what’s next?” The video below will give you a sense of these conversations. We find ourselves at a point where action is needed but this action needs to be different in nature. We are already thinking about how we might discover a way forward into a new normal and we hope you will join us in a shared journey of discovery.
But there is also a moment right now that must not be lost. There is a great deal of energy being put into how we manage the protocols of moving back into buildings and setting up new ways of gathering. In some senses, people are ready to leave behind these months of confinement, anxiety and, for many, death. But in other ways, these past months have witnessed unexpected moments of beautiful connections, relationships and discoveries. It hasn’t all been bad news. Indeed, our people have been re-discovering rhythms of living they don’t want to let go of. How do we make the most of this in between time as leaders and attend to what our people have been experiencing?
To address this question, and in response to what we’ve been hearing from our clients and colleagues, we’ve designed Leading Out of the Crisis. It is a resource that clergy can use with their leadership team to make the most of this in between time in their congregations. It shapes a space and provides a way to ask what the Spirit might be saying to them about the kind of church they want to be. We believe that one of the most important things we can do as leaders right now is pause to listen to the Spirit through one another’s experiences. It is out of this listening and discerning that we can begin to discover what new normal God is leading us to. Learn more about Leading Out of the Crisis.