The Church’s Response to the Coronavirus: Same Mission, New Strategies
Webinar hosted by Tony Morgan, Amy Anderson and Sean Bublitz
45 Minute Webinar + 15 Minute Live Q & A We will send out a replay after the webinar to everyone who registers.
The whirlwind of ministry just changed, and with each passing day the uncertainty seems to increase.
We’re with you.
As church leaders, we’re in uncharted territory—for this generation, at least—but the Church has withstood and thrived in times of persecution and plague, panic and need.
Beyond the obvious changes to our gatherings, how else is this pandemic impacting us? What will be the “new reality” for our churches when we get to the other side?
For years, culture has been moving much faster than the Church. This crisis is forcing our strategies to catch up.
In this free webinar, Tony Morgan is hosting a conversation about why NOW is the time to shift away from asking, “When will things get back to normal?” Instead, we need to be asking, “What does this mean for us long-term?”
Join us for an hour to participate in a conversation about:
The Church’s new reality post-pandemic
Redefining how we accomplish our mission and align our teams
New strategies for the new reality
The mission doesn’t change, but our methods must. Sign up to join the conversation! Join us for an hour on Thursday, April 16th at 1 p.m. EST for a free webinar.
The first couple weeks of leading through the COVID-19 crisis the staff team at Sun Valley Community Church (the church I have the honor of serving at) has been fantastic! I’m so proud of how hard they’ve been working, how quickly they’ve been able to pivot, and how well they’ve been pastoring people through this. Like every church staff team around the country we’re dealing with a level of disruption that we’ve never experienced before. We’re leading in a new normal, and I’m not sure anyone really has a great handle on what things are going to look like for the church in North America on the other side of this…but we know it’s going to be different.
In an effort to support and encourage out team through this time I sat down and recorded a conversation with Dr. Ray Branton. Dr. Branton is the founder and Clinical Director of Arizona Psychology Consultants, as well as the founder and Clinical Director of Professional Counseling Associates. He’s been a part of Sun Valley for years, and I trust him. I was hoping to simply provide a resource to our team. Some way to encourage them through the chaos they are leading through. The conversation was really well received and I received some requests by the team to share it. Typically I don’t share resources like this that are intended for the team at Sun Valley on my blog. Simply because it’s designed for this team, for who they are and for what they’re leading through. But at their request, with Dr. Branton’s permission, and in the hope that this may be helpful for other church staff team members out there I’m sharing this resource with you. Understand that this was designed for our team here, so there’s going to be some “insider” moments that may not make sense for everyone viewing.
My concern is that if we don’t somehow figure out how to do the “both-and” of leading through crisis while paying attention to our own soul we could get ourselves into trouble. And all of that is coming from a guy (me) that likes to get things done and take new ground. But my friend Lance Witt at the Unstuck Group has challenged me by telling me, “Following Jesus cannot be done at a sprint. You can’t live life at warp speed without warping your soul.” I’m trying to listen.
Over the course of the past decade, I’ve talked a lot about multisite on this blog. If you dig around on this site, you’ll find no shortage of content on all things multisite. Recently, Tony Morgan, the founder and lead strategist for the Unstuck Group, and I had a conversation about some things we’re seeing in multisite strategies for the coming year.
What trends are emerging? What strategies are tried and true? And what are we seeing that might bring some help your campuses thrive? Tony and I share our thoughts—
“After many (some very public) churches opted to shut down, or spin off campuses as individual churches, it seems some have been led to believe or state that the ‘multisite movement’ is dead.” We’ve been using the ‘multistuck’ language for a while, but multistuck is now officially a trend. I’d assume this is for lots of reasons. But many churches had a tendency to jump on the multisite bandwagon, following other leading churches without really ‘counting the cost’ in advance—and I don’t just mean financially—and it gets them stuck.” — Paul
“I’m also seeing an increase in church mergers. With church attendance declining in the US and the pipeline of people jumping into ministry shrinking, mergers are going to pick up steam.” — Paul
Live vs. Video Teaching
“We need to stop arguing about video teaching and saying things like ‘It won’t work in our town or part of the country.’ People aren’t becoming less accustomed to screens in our culture. Bad teaching is bad teaching and bad video presentation is bad video presentation, but video teaching works everywhere. Rural multisite also works.” — Paul
“With rare exceptions, we’re seeing clearly that having different live teachers at different locations will eventually divide the church.” — Tony
“I’ve seen churches use church planting principles to launch a multisite campus. That usually ends up with the wrong leader in the wrong location in a church that will eventually become independent.” — Tony
“Letting different campuses have the freedom to change ministry strategies to fit their ministry context is a recipe for disaster. It will divide the team and eventually divide the church. If the ministry context is so different that it requires a different strategy, then choose to churchplant rather than multisite.” — Tony
“Churches that hope to scale beyond just two or three campuses need to pay attention to their model to make sure it is financially sustainable. The more independent the campuses, the more it’s going to cost.” — Tony
“While there are a lot of ways people are trying to do multisite, not all multisite models or approaches are created equal. Some work (more people meeting Jesus and growing) better than others. I think many churches and church leaders are still confused about what multisite is and isn’t.” — Paul
“The biggest reason that multisite campuses fail is that they launch too small. Again, this is an indication that the church is trying to use a church planting strategy to do multisite.” — Tony
One last thought… If your church is thinking about going multisite, you really should consider bringing in some outside help. That’s not just personal bias…that’s Kingdom minded. Without clear strategies for ministry, multisite, expansion and execution, multisite can get churches multistuck. We see it all the time at the Unstuck Group. Our team combined has 100+ years of experience leading in churches with successful multisite strategies. We can guide you to assess multisite readiness, build your model and strategies, and align your staff and structure to the strategy. Interested in learning how it works? Check out our Multisite Unstuck Process. Ready to start a conversation? Let’s talk.
Do you feel like your team is achieving its full potential?
Staffing and structure is an area of ministry that The Unstuck Group (the consulting group I’m a part of) is consistently asked about. Regardless of a church’s size or success, few leaders feel like they fully have the right people in the right seats. We want to get church staffing and structure unstuck. We believe that the quality of the team significantly impacts a church’s level of impact. And we’re ready to see your staff start running on all cylinders. That’s why we’re partnering with Vanderbloemen Search Group to seek better solutions.
We need new truths about church staffing and structure. Conventional answers to church staffing problems don’t seem to be cutting it. Today’s challenges will only be overcome by new truths about staffing. Here are a few of the questions we’re looking to answer:
Where do growing churches find new staff members?
How does the size and health of a senior leadership team impact the effectiveness of a church?
Are larger or smaller churches more efficient with staffing?
How does a church’s structure affect its growth or decline?
In multisite churches, what is the most effective staff structure?
We need your help. To uncover new truths, we must explore new research. If you are on a church staff, your experience is vital to this initiative. Will you take the next 8 minutes to complete a short survey? When you do, you’ll earn free early-access to everything we discover. We’re excited to see what happens when churches across the nation get their staff and structure unstuck!