Suggestions for Pastors Ministering in a Covid-19 Environment

As we make our way through Covid-19 season, here are a few suggestions for navigating the unique challenges:

  1. Staying healthy

    1. Attend to your spiritual and emotional needs! Check out the Pastors’ Spiritual Vitality Toolkit and read recently published guidance from Rev. Dr. Chris Adams: "Leading as a Non-Anxious Presence"

    2. Connect with your colleagues using the cohorts, mentoring groups, peer groups, book clubs, etc. that you are already involved in. You don’t need to wait to call a meeting. Everyone knows that these are special times. Explore platforms for gathering virtually: Zoom (Church Juice has published helpful guidelines for you at Zoom Tips for Newbies), Skype, Google Hangouts (if you have a Google account), Facetime (if you’re an Apple user), and the Marco Polo app

    3. Connect with your regional pastor for support. He is the person that classis has designated to be available to walk with you in times of struggle. Check out the list of classes here to find your own classis and all of the people who occupy special roles in your classis (including your regional pastor).

    4. Become comfortable with taking risks and failing. Get used to the following survival sequence (and encourage your fellow leaders at your church to do so as well): Experiment, Reflect, Learn, Adjust, Share. 

    5. Lean on your council. Take the initiative to raise significant "What if?" questions with your council. For example, what if someone in your congregation becomes ill and dies—whether from Covid-19 or not? How will your church respond with love for the family in the midst of deep concerns about the safety of its members? There is a recent blog post, Funeral Protocols During Covid-19, to help you address this question, but there will be other questions as well. The point here is that you don't need to answer all significant questions on your own. 

  1. Ministry Helps

    1. Online giving help: Online Giving Options for Churches

    2. Staffing:

      1. "Conversations Regarding Staff During Covid-19"

      2. Power Point presentation from ReFrame Media on managing staff and teams remotely: "Remote Work Best Practices" 

    3. Communications: Church Communication Resources for Your Church During the Coronavirus Pandemic

    4. Caring for your community: Caring for your Community and Congregation During Covid-19

    5. Worship: 

      1. Worship and Covid-19

      2. Covid-19 and Worship: Resources for Churches Adapting to Social Isolation

      3. The Lord's Supper and Covid-19

      4. An additional list of resources relating to worship and Covid-19, overseen by the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship

    6. Faith Formation: 

      1. Covid-19 and Faith Nurture

      2. Children’s Ministry During Covid-10

    7. Mission: Community Engagement and Covid-19

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There is a very powerful private group on Facebook exclusively for Ministers of the Word and Commissioned Pastors in the CRCNA, or those from other denominations serving in CRCNA settings. If you apply for admission, please answer the questions completely. I help moderate the group, and it you are not in in the named groups you will not be admitted.

Here's how to apply:

Search for "Pastors of the Christian Reformed Church" in the search bar at the top of your Facebook timeline and ask to be admitted.

Thanks for posting the invitation to the group, Bill.