President Church Growth International Ministry, Dr. Francis Bola Akin-John has given 12 adjustments churches must make to remain relevant in the post covid-19 days. Find below
As the church prepares for reopening , church leaders must know that we are in new normal and that lots of perceptive changes have taken place. Social distancing is part of the new normal, albeit for the time being.
Therefore, we must shift in our ways of doing, practicing, leading and managing the church if we are going to remain a very relevant church.
It’s the shifting that we must make that forms the plank of this fourth and final chapter in the write up on Restarting and Reopening of churches.
If you have missed any of the parts, you can visit my Facebook page for them,
To be relevant in this pandemic and post pandemic, churches must SHIFT in these 12 major ways if we are going to be His living churches that will impact and transform our communities for Him.
1. Shift from analog to digital: In the last couple of weeks, especially during the lockdown, many churches and church leaders have come online and embrace digital services to reach their people and much more. Though it has its many downsides, yet, I hope it will have to continue. Invest more in the digital format and preach the gospel only, not conspiracy theories that breeds controversies. Your technical guys must now be strong part of your ministry workers and well remunerated.
2. Shift from large congregations to small clusters: This is crucial during the lockdown and even after. It’s time we embrace the small group settings that make relationship with individuals very vital for the gospel and nurturing and growth in the spiritual life
3. Shifts from teaching to equipping: It’s time we start equipping the believers to grow in the Lord and embrace Christ lifestyle. Also to practically demonstrate their faith in the market place of life and take up the responsibility of discipling and growing others for Him.
4. Shift from secular to spiritual: The living church is not a secular but spiritual gathering and house of the Lord. The church is not just about the physical building, but a spiritual house which His Spirit dwells as we gather and fellowship together. The church must return to that through prayers, repentance, pure worship and sharing the sound Word of God.
5. Shift from gathering to connecting: The living church is not just about gathering together but also connecting with each one for spiritual edification and transformation by the Word and Spirit of the Lord. We must shift to that from the leadership downward.
6. Shift from central control to local impact: While the central/ headquarters church coordinates and supervises the operations of the Local church, yet the local church is where the Lord really wants to make mighty impact in people’s lives.
So the central church should shift away from the tight control and allow the local church to thrive spiritually, financially, materially, administratively, and allow her to offer her own services to the locality as lead by God’s Spirit. Giving semi-autonomy to the local church and her leaders.
7. Shift from global to local: It’s time to shift from global outreach to localized impact. Every local church must seek to make major impact and positive contribution to her immediate community, which is her ministry area. Yes, her vision-eyes must be in the world, yet, her feet must be firm in her locality!
8. Shift from over- spending to generosity:It’s time to stop overspending on non-essentials and focus on the major in ministry. White elephant projects that has no immediate impact and contribution to people’s lives should be done away with and embrace care, nurture and empathy with the people, especially the downtrodden and needy.
9. Shift from complexity to simplicity: We just have to shift away from making ministry things complex, but embracing simple gospel and discipleship. This is the heart of ministry work. We must do away with all the packaging, branding and come down to preaching the simple gospel of repentance and discipling people for Jesus.
10. Shift from counting multitudes to impactful engagement: It’s time to do away with the mindset of numbers, crowds and large gatherings, but embrace the new normal of impactful engagements with individuals. See the one person to reach, get converted, discipled and equip to live for Christ and carry out His gospel truth anywhere he is found.
11. Shift from offering emphasis to Spirit-inspired giving: Surely, it’s time to de-emphasize our undue emphasis on offerings and tithes, but to shift to Spirit- inspired giving in the church or fellowships of the saints. It’s time to teach money in a wholistic, biblical ways and let the people chose to give as led by God’s Spirit.
12. Shift from normal gathering to His Supernatural presence and power: The living church is not just a normal gathering of people, but a supernatural gathering of called out saints of God, indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God. Therefore, the church must shift to that supernatural mode. The presence and power of the Holy Spirit must be made manifest in every meeting to change, transform and perform spectacular miraculous works that Only Him can do among and amidst His people as they gather unto Him.
The pastors, leaders, bishops, apostles and ministers must lead the way first. If these changes don’t happen in us first, we can’t see it happening inside our churches. No local or headquarter church has the power to adjust to these new normals without the active inspiration, challenge and direction of her leaders.
Therefore, church leaders must lead the way as the government prepares to start opening the doors of the churches for in-person services. The shift must happen in us now before that happens, else, we will revert back to our old ways, which will largely make our churches irrelevant in our communities.