Resurrected Living
"What are you going to do with your new resurrected life? This is the heroic question." Richard Rohr

5 Guidelines for Church Leadership Meetings in the Midst of a Pandemic

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As states begin to ease shelter-in-place regulations and open up, churches are going to have to decide how best to move forward. This will likely lead to some tense meetings since there are many opinions on what to do next. In many places, federal, state, and local governments do not even agree. Some states have allowed barbershops and tattoo parlors to open first. Other states have thought it best to open restaurants and movie theaters first. Some states have not opened at all. It is likely many church leadership meetings will look the same. There will be a wide variety of opinions, and leaders are going to have to do their best to arrive at the best decision for the congregation.

Here are some guidelines to follow when you meet.

Remember Your Goal – Your goal is to do what is best for your congregation. It is not to solve other problems. It is not to discuss federal or state problems. Stay focused. Don’t get sidetracked by other discussions that you have no control over. Don’t divide over problems you don’t need to be discussing. Keep the conversation focused on the local church and how best to serve the local church. You have been entrusted with the spiritual care of others and the most important thing you can do is make this the point of your conversations.

Keep Politics Out of It – Most congregations strive to keep politics out of the pulpit. Leaders should do the same when they meet. Politics divide. The church is to be united. Leaders of the church have more important things to discuss than political opinions. Church leaders should be more concerned with spiritual matters than political matters.

Be Willing to Consider Differing Opinions – Understand when you go into a meeting that everyone will not all agree. People are going to see problems differently. They are going to have different experiences. They are going to have talked to different people and read different things. This is especially true in a situation where churches are dealing with three sets of guidelines that are not in agreement. One leader might be talking about federal guidelines while another leader is talking about state guidelines. There is no room for pride in church leadership. Every church leader must embody the spirit of humility and be willing to consider other perspectives.

Extend Grace to Those Who Disagree – There is going to be a lot of disagreement in the coming days. Church members are not going to agree with church leaders. Deacons are not going to agree with elders. Elders are not going to agree with ministers. This is a given. Understand this now and be prepared to be graceful towards others. Remember that your bond in Christ is stronger than any disagreements you may have. Be respectful. Listen. Use kind words. Acknowledge there are other ways to approach a situation. Treat others as you would like to be treated.

Saturate Every Meeting in Prayer – A meeting of church leaders is a spiritual matter, not a business matter. Pray often throughout the meeting. Read Scripture. Keep your mind on spiritual things. Remember that God is present when you gather. Your focus should be on the mission of God in your community and the most important thing you can do is pray.

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