As a church community, we have been learning how to live through the unique experience of a global pandemic. There was no guide book written for us.
Reflecting back on March 2020, we had no idea how challenging the next year and a half would be for us. We did not imagine just how many lives would be lost, how relentless the isolation would be, and how divisive just about every decision would become. Looking back to the beginning of the pandemic, would you have wanted to know what to anticipate during the pandemic? That’s a hard question to answer!
You who are church leaders have had to pivot and change course regularly to meet the shifting demands of your roles and responsibilities throughout the pandemic. If you are feeling unsure of your next steps during this transitional, liminal time, you are not alone. This uncharted territory in the life of the church challenges our ability to navigate this much uncertainty.
Recently, three CRC ministries collaborated to provide a resource for pastors and leadership teams that can be implemented within your church and/or classis. Faith Formation Ministries, Pastor Church Resources, and Disability Concerns developed this slide presentation, Clergy, Ministry Leaders and Mental Health: Supporting Ministry Leaders and Pastors to Thrive in Ministry, to support leaders in your community.
This presentation offers resources for leading when we are unsure of the future but sense we cannot just return to past ways of “doing church.” It offers insight into the mental health challenges of living in and through the pandemic. Naming this reality and developing safe spaces to discuss the signs of stress and burn out are crucial as we support each other.
We encourage you to meet with fellow church and classis leaders online (or in person, if possible) to walk through this presentation together. The presentation gives directions for sharing in a larger group and breaking into smaller discussion groups. For example, a classis in Ontario found it helpful to take 20 minutes during their meeting to share and respond to this slideshow.
Thriving as a community means making time to dive into challenging conversations together, conversations about your mental health and wellbeing and of your community. We hope that this resource serves you well as you rebuild your church community through a significantly challenging time.
RESOURCE LIST CONNECTED WITH THE SLIDESHOW
Case Study guide connected to this presentation:
Books included in this presentation that offer further resources:
Network Articles included in this presentation that offer further resources: