How to Shepherd Through the COVID-19 Crisis
Ready or not, we’ve found ourselves in a strange situation as the Church. For seemingly good and wise reasons, many can no longer gather as a body for fellowship and ministry. So how can a pastor continue to shepherd well when he can’t be with the people God has placed within his care? I propose three ways that we can continue to flourish and bear fruit as leaders amidst this challenging time.
Keep a regular schedule.
In times when everything is changing it’s important to maintain some sense of normalcy as leaders. This helps in two ways:
1. Your sanity: As a pastor, your ability to lead well is often based on your ability to rest well, so keeping a schedule that you adhere to helps you to avoid being reactive and to continue to lead proactively.
2. Your effectiveness: The more you are able to focus on your work (prayer, ministry of the word, caring for your flock) the better your church will weather this storm. Stay focused.
Meet with your people.
One of the great values you provide to your people is for them to have access to your heart, your mind and your time. Whether you pastor a big or small church, your people love to be connected to the Lord and to one another through you. Don’t neglect them in this season. Here are a few practical ways you can leverage technology to stay connected from a distance:
- Offer virtual pastoral visits through Zoom
- Go live on Facebook for Q&A
- Host a virtual prayer meeting (Zoom, Facebook Live, Google Hangouts)
- Host a virtual staff meeting (Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts)
- Host your small group gatherings virtually (Zoom, Google Hangouts)
- Record and post daily devotionals to social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram). Don’t have fancy equipment? A smart phone will work just fine.
- Livestream your Sunday Service or record it and post to social media (YouTube, Facebook, Instagram).
Develop your new virtual strategy and stick to it.
This is a new season and for many, a new world of technology and virtual church. Please avoid the pressure of replicating what you see other pastors/leaders do. Seek the Lord earnestly in this season for exactly what He wants you to do and then stick to it. You may see very dismal results at first (don’t get discouraged), but consistency is key and the more you stay the course, the more momentum you’ll build, as Jesus had in mind when He called disciples to follow Him.
* Note From The 6:4 Fellowship:
Many of the platforms listed above are free to utilize and offer their support via phone and web articles. They are also offer paid options with additional features for more complex scenarios. If you need further help with the how-to on any of this, we are here for you! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For any who do not yet utilize Facebook for privacy reasons, you can setup private Facebook accounts to maintain your desired level of privacy, and still proactively reach your people on this universal platform. To learn more, click here.
CB Barthlow currently leads a brand new church plant in Denver, CO called beacon. As a teen, CB walked away from God, resulting in a 15 year battle with addiction that eventually cost him everything. At the age of 30, homeless, jobless and alone, he started life over again, in rehab. Now CB helps the discouraged, the broken and the hopeless to find their way to a relationship with Jesus Christ. CB brings his special message of failure and recovery to prisons, schools and churches.