As the COVID vaccination is made available to more and more of the population, a greater number of churches are offering expanded in-person worship opportunities. This means some churches are offering in-person worship for the first time in a year. Other churches are increasing the number of in-person worship times and/or seats at worship. Others are preparing for returning to in-person worship in the coming weeks. Pastors and laity alike have longed to return to in-person worship and can hardly wait.
Before we get too far down this road, I would like to challenge us once again to pause and consider a question. Are we simply REopening the building or are we RElaunching ministry for our community? The prior option is likely a rush to “get back to normal” and offer the same worship and ministry we did before the pandemic. The latter option calls us to REthink our offerings and to use this as a prime opportunity to REintroduce ourselves to the community.
Seeing this season as a RElaunch causes us to REcommit to our community and our mission, RElate in new ways, REassess our ministry offerings, and REcalibrate as needed and as God is calling us in this new day for this new context. RElaunch is a mission field focus. REopen is a congregational focus.
The whole world has changed because of the pandemic. As a REsult, the church needs to be REminded that we must remain flexible and adaptable to our changing context by offering ministries that RElate to our community. What worked a year ago may likely not work today to disciple those already gathered let alone those yet to be gathered. But before we know what we need to offer in the way of new ministry opportunities, we need to RElate to the community – be in RElationship with the community and build new RElationships with new people. Then ask them!
Here are a couple of resources to help you with your RElaunch:
- Consider teaming up with Impressions Unlimited to provide mystery worshipers for your online and in-person worship experiences. This will let you know how people in your community might experience your worship offerings and how likely they would be to return or recommend. ImpresionsUnlimited.org
- Pre-order the book, Being the Church in the Post-Pandemic World. The book will provide eight game changers the church will need to do to be vital and healthy longterm in the post-pandemic world. In addition, the book has a bonus section, the Ultimate RElaunch Playbook. This Playbook will provide a step by step process to help you evaluate and create a game plan to RElaunch your church into the community for the short-term.
Whatever you do, don’t miss this opportunity! We will likely not have this golden opportunity again in our lifetimes for the much needed RE-inventing of ourselves as the church. Put your RElaunch Team together today and begin this faithful work!