fbpx

5 Things Your Church Can Do to Thrive in a Post-COVID World

by | Apr 14, 2021

Can you feel it? It almost feels like the warmth from the light at the end of the COVID tunnel. Let’s not count our eggs before they’re hatched, but it’s time to start thinking about what church post-COVID looks like.

Will your church go “back to normal,” or will you pave a new path to new growth and impact in your community?

To be sure, comfort is a heck of a drug. Your leadership and your congregation will most easily return to some form of pre-COVID normal. But, is that what is best for your church long-term?

You want your church to thrive coming out of COVID, right? You want to use this new freedom as a springboard to something greater. To greater impact in your community. To more disciples being made. More people being baptized.

Now is the time.

So, we thought we’d take a minute and present you with 5 things your church can do to thrive in a post-COVID world. If you’re going to reach new people and make more disciples, you’re going to have to forge a new path. The old way won’t work.

 

The Risk of Going Back to “Normal”

Before we look at things you can do to catapult your church into this new world, we need to consider what happens if you don’t.

Here’s the reality. Every church’s mission is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. To make new disciples you need to engage new people. That isn’t happening within the confines of your church sanctuary.

According to a recent study by Gallup, church attendance in the United States has now dropped below 50% for the first time. That means, even among people who would consider themselves believers, many are unlikely to regularly attend Sunday worship.

To take that deeper, if even many professing Christians don’t find Sunday worship of value, it’s even less likely someone who doesn’t believe in Jesus, or is even antagonistic toward the church, will darken the doors of your sanctuary.

That being the case, going back to a normal where our primary form of ministry is Sunday morning worship isn’t going to fulfill our God-given mission of making new disciples of Jesus Christ.

We have to change. So, let’s get started.

5 Things Your Church Can Do to Thrive in a Post-COVID World

 

1. Determine what your community truly wants and needs from your church

This is the foundation of everything your church will do going forward. It’s also the thing almost every church fails to honestly investigate. Often, churches will assume they know what their community needs or wants. We assume we know what problems our community is experiencing. Do we, though?

Spend some time doing a deep dive into the problems your community is experiencing. Here are a few ways you might find that information.

  1. Online Survey – Create a survey (SurveyMonkey is fine) asking honest questions from your community on a wide range of topics and potential issues. Send it out via email, social media, post a sign out front, get it to local businesses, neighborhood associations, other churches, news media, etc. Get as much input as humanly possible.
  2. Engage Your Local Officials – Schedule a meeting with your local city councilors, police officers, school board members, HOA presidents, apartment managers, and others to find out what they’re hearing around your community.
  3. Reach out to local reporters – Reporters are always looking for problems in the communities they cover. They have their ear to the ground and will have great input as to what they’re hearing from the people they talk to regularly
  4. Talk to Community Organizations – There’s a good chance your local community has a handful of community organizations. Whether that is the local Boys and Girls club, or a grassroots group working for change. Get their input.

Once you’ve gathered all the data. Organize it into two groups:

  1. Problems current ministries can solve
  2. Problems that require new ideas and new ministries

Pass off the items in group one to the staff or volunteers who oversee those ministries and let them run with them. Then, recruit new leaders to engage the items in group two.

Once you have a plan for how to engage items in both groups, move on to step two.

 

2. Create Clear and Consistent Messaging Around The Problems You Solve

The quickest way to capture someone’s attention is to mention a problem they are personally experiencing. Once you know the real problems experienced by your neighbors, you have to start talking about them all the time to get their attention.

Create talking points around each problem you are working to solve and then use your website, social media, community meetings, local news, and more to talk about them. Here are the points your talking points should cover.

  1. The Problem: The identified problem your community is experiencing
  2. The Solution: How you plan to address the problem and work to solve it (or just make it better)
  3. Their Success: Paint a picture of what success looks like for your community if they engage with you as you work to solve their problem
  4. Call to Action: What is the ONE THING you need them to do to participate and experience the success you mentioned?

At Clear Church Communications, we have a more in-depth process of creating clear and consistent messaging for your church and its ministries, but these four steps will get you in the ballpark.

 

3. Build a new and SIMPLE website

Church websites are often cluttered and complicated. If you’re going to truly reach your community, your website needs to be simple and clear. Your homepage should cover the talking points in step 2 as it relates to your overall church. Subpages should highlight the points in step 2 for individual ministries.

You want your neighbors to click on your website and be thrust into a story of their own transformation and growth! Your website can do this.

 

4. Double down on your church social media

Just because people are being vaccinated and churches are starting to meet in person again doesn’t mean you can let up on social media engagement. In fact, you should be doubling down!

Now that you clearly understand the issues your community is facing and have tangible ways you plan to engage those problems, social media is the perfect place to start talking about them. Develop a simple social media strategy to make sure you are ALWAYS talking about the things your neighbors want to hear about.

Bible verses and sermon clips are great, but if you aren’t engaging the real lived problems your community is facing, you’re only tweeting to the choir.

 

5. Engage Your Community

GET OUT OF YOUR BUILDING!!!
GET OUT OF YOUR BUILDING!!!
GET OUT OF YOUR BUILDING!!!

There. I said it three times just in case you have a Peter complex.

Create community events. Serve your neighbors. Get out of your building and DO the things you will be talking about all the time.

Why?

  • Walk the walk, don’t just talk the talk. People need to see you put your money, time, and resources where your mouth is. That’s how you begin to break down the walls of trust between your neighbors and the church.
  • By doing the things you’re talking about, you’ll have more pictures and stories and great content to share via social media, email, video, and more to KEEP talking about your neighbors’ problems and your solutions.

 

The Dying Normal or The Thriving New Life?

Which will it be? Will your church go back to some version of a pre-COVID normal and continue to see a decline, or will you catapult your church into a new story of growth and disciple-making by truly serving your community?

Now is the time to decide. If you wait until you get back to relative normal, comfort will take over and nothing will change.

We would love to help your church dive into these 5 steps and create a new thriving ministry in your community. Click here to schedule a call with Joe Garrison, our owner, and find out how we can guide you through this process to achieve true impact and growth in your immediate community.

Do This First Free PDF

Don't miss the one thing that will transform your communications and grow your church.

Most churches make the mistake of hiring someone to build them a new website and manage social media without doing the most important thing you can do to make those efforts successful. Don't be that church. Download this FREE PDF and build your communications on solid ground.

Recent Posts

Clear Church Weekly Tips

Be a Better Communicator One Week at a Time

Get weekly tips on church communications, leadership, community engagement, and more right to your email.

Get ready to grow! Your first tip is on the way.