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What happens next

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Posted by George Crowder, 4 Jun 2020

George Crowder suggests some questions for smaller churches to consider in the next few weeks and months.

In a smaller church, like the church I serve in, operationally and pastorally we are - more often than not - hand to mouth.  We have been in crisis mode for the last few months, but it’s less of a philosophical change than we might like to admit.  Rarely out of a crisis mindset, for a small church it’s just more intense these days.

I’m sure, despite this, Vicars, Wardens and PCCs around the country have started meeting on Zoom and having interesting, if rather speculative, discussions about what to do next.  Amidst all the shrugging of shoulders and furrowing of brows, there is a genuine desire for being back in one room together one day, and, yes, whatever it takes, keeping going in the interim.  I think it is worth calling the meeting even if that’s all that comes of it, but there are some other useful things which can be established, even at this stage.

Below is a ready reckoner that is helping our PCC with those discussions, which I have cobbled together by listening to what other ministers have been doing.  If you haven’t got something to work with already, then it might be a helpful starting point.

Two plans to make:

1. Secure future

·    How has the crisis affected church finances?

·    How can you put the resources you have to best use as we emerge from the crisis?

2. Safe church

·    How can you meet in your church building safely?

·    How can you involve those who aren’t able to meet physically?

Three lists to make:

1. Extraordinary developments

·    What have you got up and running in lockdown that you want to keep doing?

·    What have you learned that will change your ministry for good?

2. Emerging opportunities

·    What activities do the restrictions allow that you can use for ministry?

·    What kind of ministry will be possible in your situation in the transition stages?

3. Evolving ministries

·    What ministries are not going to be able to operate in the same way for a long time?

·    How can you reach the same people in a different way?

George Crowder is a Regional Director of Church Society and vicar of St John's, Over.

Photo by Photo by Gabriel Benois on Unsplash

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