We are in uncharted territory regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19). New normals are likely to be established. So how do you lead during uncertain times? As Director of New Ministry Partnerships for INJOY Stewardship Solutions, this is a question I wrestled with as I met with my team this past Friday.
If you are unfamiliar with INJOY Stewardship, we help churches establish cultures of generosity and raise significant money for major projects with our capital campaign coaching. Our products include high-touch consulting, financial analysis, weekly giving, digital giving options, personal finance, and digital systems to increase weekly giving.
Leveraging my experience from the 2008 financial market crash, the following is how I advised our team to proceed during these uncertain times:
- Be Diligent – Do your job. Referring Nehemiah 2, keep serving our prospects and customers with excellence despite the panic. Keep making your calls, sending and returning emails, following up, Marketing, selling, creating, and doing all the things we do on a day-to-day basis. Play to your strengths. Focus on what you do well. Control what you can control.
- Be Empathetic – Pastors and church leaders are feeling uncertainty as well. They may be concerned about attendance and giving patterns as many churches are being forced to move online. No one truly knows what the impact will be. However, we need to be a calm and soothing voice because God was not surprised by this. He has all of this under control.
- Be Creative – Uncertain times require creative, out-of-the-box solutions. This requires offering a multitude of options. For our organization, we must also understand the season we are in. We are looking at fall campaigns for many churches. There is still plenty of time to engage in this process. Many people feel the virus will “flatten out” in a few weeks. Easter is coming. Also, churches needing to retire debt will need our services now more than ever. I advised our team to take advantage of all our products and services to meet whatever generosity needs a church may have. These could include improving their online giving platforms through GiveINJOY, one-year relationships to (re)build cultures of generosity/weekly giving and bridge to 2021 projects, or personal finance classes through I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. to the families who may be adversely affected by the economic challenges our nation is facing. Or in many cases with churches I am talking to, I am listening to their stories and offering some combination of all the above.
- Be Positive And Encouraging – God has not given us a spirit of fear. I believe the weeks following the coronavirus could be some of the church’s finest hours. People are being reminded life is paper-tissue thin. We are being forced to ask, “Are we really a society who freaks out over toilet paper? Is that what we’ve come to?” People need something they can count on. They need to find a more solid foundation to base their life upon than what they currently have. When the coronavirus scare has subsided, I am confident they will find the answers they are searching for by visiting your local church and being introduced to the person of Jesus Christ. So be prepared to receive them.
Be Diligent. Be Empathetic. Be Creative. Be Positive And Encouraging. This is how I am leading through the coronavirus / COVID-19. How about you?
This article originally appeared here, and is used by permission.