Thom Rainer, writer, researcher, and former president and CEO of Lifeway Christian Resources, asked his Twitter followers on Sunday to share one or two of the biggest challenges they are currently facing. Rainer’s Twitter following is comprised mainly of pastors and church leaders, and many of them shared their experiences.
For a number of pastoral leaders, their struggles related to a combination of pandemic related challenges and the political division.
Steve Davis tweeted that his two biggest struggles were “biblical truth being replaced with political/covid conspiracy being the truth for many” and “lack of volunteers.”
Nick Hodges said that his biggest challenge was “Division and Angst (sic) in the church caused by Covid, Presidential election, mandates. I’ve been vaccinated and the majority of my church thinks I’m a lunatic.” Hodges added that these challenges have given him a “constant feeling of being a failure as a pastor.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in decreased engagement for many churches, and pastors are grappling with how to respond and pivot.
“Covid has changed the game (volunteer struggles, society in chronic anxiety/fatigue, changed attendance patterns for members & guests, etc.),” Doug McPherson replied to Rainer, adding that “many demand that we keep playing by the same old rules.”
William Arnold said, “People that were all in during Covid (nothing better to do) are now half in and feel like they have to catch up with ‘normal life’ now that activities are back. Had elderly circles gossip/complain during shutdown, and they have brought that attitude back to in-person church now.”
Blake Prater described the challenge of determining “how to re-engage the community/church through evangelism and how to properly minister to the entire congregation in a way that honors their choice of safety for their health.”