The Long Haul

Many people thought that Covid 19 would be short-lived. The wish was probably the father of the thought. We all like quick fixes rather than having to deal with long-term issues that continue day in and day out. Many congregations have resumed in person worship services along with online viewing. But numbers are lower, and that includes people who have watched online. Discouragement has set in for many, especially church leaders. What to do?

It’s a chance to refocus. There are many practices that churches have been doing for years, but for no apparent reason. I remember decades ago–I was a seminary student serving a small church. The deacons told me that the salt-fish breakfast was coming up. I asked them about it, and they told me that on a particular Sunday morning the men of the church prepared salt-fish and eggs and a good number of people attended. I replied that it was good, it would give the morning attendance a good boost. They told me that people didn’t stay for Sunday School and worship. They would eat and go home or to their own churches. It was a big tradition, and I made use of it by trying to get to know people in the community, but its purpose didn’t seem to have anything to do with ministry or evangelism. It may have been fellowship, loosely defined, but it wasn’t focused on Christ.

The present circumstances force congregations to use their resources carefully. Each established congregation has a field to focus on and reach. It’s important to know your community–the demographics and psychographics (how do people there think and what’s important to them). With that information a congregation can design a ministry that focuses on the community with the goal of evangelism and discipleship, which means reaching people for Christ and developing and growing them.

You may not be able to start your ministry right away, but you have a window of time to prepare.

As a consultant, I can assist you with this. Feel free to contact me and we can talk about it.

Ashton C. Smith

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