Feel free to share this with anyone on your team who wasn’t able to join.
The Fits-and-Starts Scenario
You’re a leader in a Soma Church in a Midwest Red State. Your Church has 120 people comprised of 7 Missional Communities. 45% of people are currently in DNA groups. Annual giving will be down 40% over the course of the next 12 months. You recently seen 5 new people come to faith. Your Church is strong in the Mission identity. You have an annual budget of $175,000. You have 1 full-time staff elder and 1 part-time deacon of kids ministry, & finance. Your Governor has just announced an aggressive reopening plan. 25% occupancy now, 50% occupancy by June and working towards 100% occupancy by July. After reopening there has been a steady spike in new cases and new deaths. Your Governor is sticking to his guns. People in the culture and in your church are divided about what should be done. Some want to move to gatherings of 10 or less until a vaccine. Others want to get back to normal while taking some precautions (e.g. masks, 6ft apart, etc).
Experts predict a vaccine will take anywhere from 18-24 months, conservatively. Some say COVID-19 will remain a threat 4-5 years. In the late Fall, there is another large spike and under great Federal pressure your Governor issues another “shelter-in-place” order. Things open back up in March 2021. Your elder team is wary the fits-and-starts are starting to wear on your people. Unemployment in your State is currently at 20% but spikes to 30% in the summer of 2020. People are experiencing food scarcity who never have before. Your unbelieving neighbors are anxious, often unemployed but are more open to the Gospel than ever. You started streaming/recording your Sunday Service in March and are seeing new comers check-in who have never visited your church before.
1) What does your new, operating ecclesiology look like?
e.g. worship, discipleship, staff, leadership development, shepherding, care for the poor
- What stays the same, what changes?
- What seemed important that may feel superfluous now?
- What was undervalued that may hold greater value now?
- What is the essential trellis for the church in this are?
2) How does your budget change? What do you cut first?
3) What content or spiritual emphasis are you providing over the next 6 months?