23 November, 2021

Book Seeks to Encourage Pandemic-Scarred Church Leaders

by | 3 November, 2021 | 0 comments

What have been the most challenging aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic? What are the greatest challenges you face moving forward?

BiblicalLeadership.com asked its audience of mostly church leaders these questions—and others—late in the summer and used the responses to produce a free ebook available at its website.

“I know you’re ready for some encouragement,” BiblicalLeadership.com publisher Tom Harper writes in his introduction to The Top 5 Post-Pandemic Challenges for Church Leaders. “That’s my prayer for this ebook. . . . The leaders we surveyed admitted their weaknesses and also their learnings in a way that I believe will benefit you and thousands of other church leaders around the world.”

Question 2 of the survey asked, “As a leader or manager, what were your top work challenges during the pandemic?”

The top challenge—by a wide margin—was “maintaining a positive attitude” (expressed by 60 percent of the respondents); this was followed by “government restrictions” and “adjusting to remote work” (44 percent each).

“Across the board, normally positive leaders endured a multi-front attack,” the book shares. There were “a mountain of threats to a pastor’s emotional and psychological outlook.”

The book also quotes numerous responses from ministers and other Christian leaders.

This particular “top work challenges” question elicited such responses as, “Keeping the church intact” and “Conflict over masks, social distancing, vaccine.”

And here’s an excerpt from the longest response: “We experienced extreme negative reactions to almost every decision we made during COVID from about 4-6 percent of our congregation. 2-3 percent were convinced we were asking too much (in terms of compliance with government restrictions), and 2-3 percent were convinced we never asked enough.”

Question 4—described as the “crux” of the entire study—was: “What are the top leadership challenges you see for yourself after the pandemic?”

The tabulated results listed these “Top 5” challenges: “regathering people in person” (listed by 62 percent of the respondents); “leadership development” (43 percent); “innovation/digital transformation” (41 percent); “leading like Christ” (36 percent); and “need for a new vision” (32 percent).

“I think our biggest challenge is not merely regathering our people, but re-engaging them,” one respondent shared. “So many got used to being less active in the church, and that has created challenges for the few, but faithful, who continued serving during the pandemic. Namely, burnout could be a real problem in our future unless we can discover a way to share the load of ministry amongst those in our congregation.”

Researchers also asked questions about the top personal/family/health challenges during the pandemic, best post-pandemic leadership advice for younger people, the most important leadership lessons gleaned during COVID-19, and more.

“This has been a fascinating study to conduct,” Harper shares in conclusion. “I sensed a collective desire among the group to help other pastors and leaders around the world.”

Download your free copy of The Top 5 Post-Pandemic Challenges for Church Leaders at BiblicalLeadership.com.

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