Manage episode 272551395 series 1105654
The “Call of God” to pastoral ministry has taken a huge hit in the last 28 weeks of COVID. This results in a huge impact in churches. 58% of pastors state they feel confident their church will survive 12 months from now. You might say, at least this is a majority! However, this is not all that reassuring since 1-in-3 churches will close their doors in the next 3 years.
Notice the sample of data points at week #28 of our COVID journey: •1-in-5 churches have stated they will not reopen until sometime between Easter and early summer 2021.•81% of Ministers are very concerned about the use of screens and the impact upon our younger generations.•14% of Ministers state they have a definite plan in place to equip families and our younger generations in the unhealthy use of screens.•We are learning the church is good at ministry in Acute situations. However, we are learning that we do not perform well in Chronic situations. This is a matter of short-term versus long-term needs.
Regarding the comparison of Acute Vs. Chronic Jeremiah and Ezekiel spoke to their history and cultural genocide. Babylon was a long-haul journey before they ever were able to return home.
What is Culture? Culture is what we do in terms of daily rhythms and social interactions that we never think about. It infers familiarity without a second thought. Cultural Genocide is the disruption of these daily rhythms and social norms that causes us to think about our next move and emotional reaction.
I would refer to the prophets, Jeremiah and Ezekiel to help us with some comprehension about the long-haul nature of a national crisis. Without going into a deep dive of study for both prophets, let me state they spoke to their history and the cultural genocide among God’s people.
When we consider that the Ministerial Calling is under attack today, there are some factors that need to be considered in this moment. Barna Research has previously reported that 60+% of ministers today feel their number one role is to be the primary developer of content to be presented. The “Shepherding” functions are in greater demand now than content development and speaking. However, public speaking is challenging when talking to a camera and empty room. This is the perfect storm that is brewing!
Consider Jeremiah as the weeping prophet, weeping for the nation because of their sin. Jeremiah warned that Babylon was being used by God to judge national Israel – don’t resist he says! Jeremiah was ostracized for this type of speaking. No trophy given for that presentation.
One of the great challenges of leadership today is the “Shrinking Circles of Trust!” Trust is perhaps our greatest need. Who do you trust enough to care for you? Who do you trust enough to have conflict with and remain in relationship? How do we build trust in a shrinking world (I.e.. Social Distancing). It seems that we are having conflict about people instead of with people. There is a huge difference in those conversations.
COVID is pushing our junk into the open for everyone to look at. During these 28 weeks to date there have been leaders that have morally fallen and ruined Christian Universities, marriages ended in divorce, and suicides. We cannot deny COVID will have long term impacts upon the faith community. Denying this is behave as like King Zedekiah – He dismissed Jeremiah’s message from God and then Jeremiah was thrown out of the temple as well. There are no trophies being handed in the ministry – this is a tough hour to stand and declare, “Thus says the Lord!”
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Music: “Gratitude Mood” by David Arivett. You can learn more about his music by clicking on his name. THANKS DAVID!