Ministering in Troubled Times
These days ministry has been anything but normal. And, as we look ahead we are told to expect that the future will be a "new normal." I don't know all that this means, but I do know that God goes before us, and He will equip and empower us for what lies ahead.
I commend our pastors for their faith, courage and ingenuity. They have found unique ways to minister beyond the physical walls of the church. It has been a time to rediscover what we all know and that is, that the people are the church. Knowing that makes it even more important for us to keep a sense of presence before our congregations.
I recently listened to some podcasts by Rev. Andy Stanley regarding ministering in the difficult and challenging times. Here are some things he said that I think are worth consideration.
- Our presence is more important than our presentations: This is not a call for poor performance of lack of planning, but a reminder that in times such as these it is important that we are communicating hope to our people as much as possible. We are all committed to good preparation and quality content, but we must not let our desire for quality cause us to be amiss at staying before our people with words of encouragement.
- Our voice is more important than our words: While emails, letters, and cards are good forms of contact, our voices carry more impact than our words. As best you can find ways via media pages, Zoom, Skype, whatever means available bot be "seen and heard" not just read. When our congregations can hear us and see us it is so much more encouraging than just our words.
- Encouragement is more important than answers: Everyone wants to know what is going to happen next. The truth is we do not always know. If we do have a plan it is important to communicate it, but what is more important is that we continually offer words of hope. We don't have all the answers, but we know how to direct people to the One Who is the answer! These days are anything but peaceful. Strife seems to stand before us in all directions. However, in the midst of trials the God of peace can guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus and grant us godly peace. Let us continually lift up our eyes and our prayers to the Lord who is our hope and peace. Let us help people to fix their eyes on Jesus and hold firmly to their faith.
We at NBC love, appreciate and are praying for our pastors and churches. Here is my prayer for you today found in Paul's letter to the Romans:
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 (NIV)
In His Service,
Dr. Jim Russom
NBC IME Director, Faculty, Director of Pastoral Ministries Program
Filed Under: Communicator Published: 07/27/2020