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7 Things Pastors Gave Their Churches During 2020 and COVID

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7 Things Pastors Gave Their Churches During 2020 and COVID

This past week I had the privilege of speaking at a Pastor Appreciation luncheon put on by Croft and Associations, an architectural firm located in Kennesaw, GA.  Their desire was to have a layperson tell the pastors how they were blessed by their efforts during what was the most difficult year many in the room had ever had in ministry.

The title of my message was 7 Things Pastors Gave Us During 2020 and COVID.  The content was especially tailored to those in attendance but applies to all pastors.  The following is the outline of my talk:

Pastors Gave Us Safety

Pastors and their staffs overly communicated and managed service times, parking instructions, gathering locations, traffic flow, restrooms, off-limits locations, mask policies, seating requirements for social distancing, disinfectant, and exiting instructions.  No details were left out.  Because of this, I agree with Pastor Johnny Hunt when he said, “There’s not a safer place to be than a church on Sunday morning.”

Pastors Gave Us Dignity

As church attenders and members, we needed a shepherd in 2020 more than ever-before.  Because every pastor was now leading a small or mid-sized church, they got to know almost all our names and stories.

Our opinions were valued.  We were noticed and felt like we mattered.  Pastors, you made us feel at home during the pandemic.

Pastors Gave Us A Model For Creativity And Handling Change

  • They had to learn to preach to and through a camera.  This speaks to learning new communication skills.
  • They had to conduct weddings and funerals differently.  This speaks to learning to administer care differently.
  • They had to conduct outdoor services and preach to people in cars.  This speaks to overcoming barriers and providing solutions.
  • The learned about the PPP.  This speaks to learning new administration and banking skills.
  • They had to lead their staffs differently.  This speaks to becoming better leaders.
  • The had to make more hard decisions than ever.  This speaks to their courage.
  • Many of them, along with their wives, had to learn to become homeschool parents.  This speaks to leading their families in new ways.
  • They had to become Zoom experts.  This speaks to their ability to learn technology skills.
  • They received countless amounts of criticism over race, politics, masks, opening dates, closing dates and more from church members, people in the community, social media, their staffs, and yes, even members of their own families.  Pastors learned how much resilience they have.

Pastors Gave Us Stability

In the midst of unprecedented change and uncertainty, many pastors remained focus on their mission, vision, and core values.  People still got saved and baptized during 2020.  Regardless of the times you live in, it is all about life-change.

Pastors Gave Us What Is Most Vital – The Word of God

This is the most important of the seven points listed.  Many pastors taught us how to process the events of 2020 through a biblical worldview.  We were all reminded the Bible is the greatest leadership book ever written and does the following:

  • The Bible provides reassurance during unstable times.
  • The Bible elevates our thinking.
  • The Bible teaches us righteous living in times of lawlessness.
  • The Bible is used by the Holy Spirit to convict us of our sins.
  • The Bible challenges us to repent and do better.
  • The Bible calls for a decision.  2020 was not a time for riding the fence or passivity.  Many issues forced Christians to take a stand.
  • The Bible provides clear next steps once decisions are made.

Pastors Gave Us Hope

Pastors told us that we can make it.  It is a fundamental leadership truth that leaders point to a brighter tomorrow.  They are dealers of hope.  Think about it, if you are not pointing to a brighter future, why would I or anyone else follow you into it?  Pastors were one of the only constant sources of encouragement during 2020.

Pastors Gave Us Something Extraordinary

The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is just a little extra.  The follow are just some of the little extra things pastors did during 2020:

  • Pastors gave us extra prayers during 2020.
  • Pastors made extra phone calls to their members during 2020.
  • Pastors conducted and attended extra meetings during 2020.
  • Pastors showed extra grace when they were given countless “suggestions” during 2020.
  • Pastors showed extra compassion to the sick and hurting people during 2020.
  • Pastors preached extra Sunday morning sermons during 2020.
  • Pastors made extra visits to senior adult homes and kept them connected during 2020.
  • Pastors took advantages of extra opportunities to serve their communities during 2020.
  • Pastors took extra time to equip their staffs and leaders during 2020.
  • Pastors showed extra love to their families during 2020.
  • Pastors did extra learning because new leadership skills were required from them during 2020.
  • Pastors had extra resilience during 2020 and kept showing up for work week after week.

Pastors were simply extraordinary during 2020.  We are all better people because they kept coming back every Monday morning.

It’s been said that when Jesus is all you have, you will find Jesus is all you need.  I am sure that is the case.  But I do not want to imagine a world where we do not have pastors.

This article originally appeared here.

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Brian Dodd is a church stewardship & leadership consultant. See www.briandoddonleadership.com for additional insights.