If we thought that after the November Elections we would return to normal – we were wrong. If we thought the arrival of a new year was going to miraculously alter our circumstances and return us to normal – we were wrong.

I think it is time we begin to consider that waiting for normal is like waiting for a ship that has already sailed. Perhaps we need to accept, we are living in the “normal” right now.

So if the “Normal” looks like what we have then what do we have?

The church I serve as an Interim Pastor has about 50% of the people attending than they did PC (Pre Covid-19). Giving has remained strong. Does that sound familiar? Most reports I have received from pastors say the same.

If we dig a bit deeper looking for an accurate assessment of what the church I’m serving is actually doing it would look like this: Worship Services. Yes, we are doing a modicum of Youth Ministry and Children’s Church but other than that not much at all. Why? Because we have a list of things we used to do and we are waiting for things to return to normal so we can get back to doing them. Except that that train has left the station.

Not every church is sitting back and waiting for Camelot to return. NorthWoods Church in Evansville did what most of us did when Covid struck. They amped up an already functioning online ministry and put NorthWoods out for public consumption.

Perhaps you have noticed this too. The attention to detail many of us had to our online presence has faded as we reengaged in-person. That was NOT what NorthWoods did. They are intentionally attempting to engage their online worshipers and online small group attendees to provide a quality experience for them to share being as much a part of the church as the internet allows. When I spoke to Pastor Bobby Pell about what NorthWoods is doing he said, “It might fail.”

Yes, it might fail. But maybe it is time for all of us to start failing for the cause of Christ again. What is your Next Step? What is the Next chance to fail for Jesus?

Will Mancini, who is a Penn State grad like me, has partnered with the North American Mission Board to offer some Leadership Development opportunities for those of us who pastor. More of that will be released in the year to come but take a sneak peek at this link. Perhaps it will help you focus on what might be your church’s Next Step. In the article, Will talks about having a specific focus on our overall mission/vision. Doing one thing. Doing it well.

Perhaps we can adapt what Will was writing about to the situation at hand. What is the One Thing your church is going to concentrate on that you can begin right now? (Hint-it won’t be what you have done in the past!) Is it a ministry to Health Care Workers? Maybe to a local Nursing Home? What is your Next Step?

I’d like to hear from you. Contact me at bweeks@scbi.org. If I know what you are doing it is possible I can connect you to another pastor that is doing it or is trying to do it also.

Remember, you are not alone – we are in this, and better, together!