How-to: Connect With Your Church Staff During a Crisis
By: Pastor Alfredo Ramos
How you as the pastor can be encouraging your church staff during this time.
Your ability to pastor your team ties directly to you
first and foremost, being pastored by Jesus.
Even if you find your time with Jesus limited, I would also share that will your team. Sure, it’s difficult even when it seems like we have more time. It’s harder to connect with Him, but acknowledge the fact that despite that He is still good, He is still present and here is how He’s speaking to me. I want to encourage you with that because we can’t give to our church staff what we don’t possess as Jesus followers. So lead them in the way that Jesus is leading you during this time.
One thing that I try to do in light of that is to open up my time with my church staff every week with a psalm—both silence and scripture and praying that psalm into our all-staff meeting. There’s 10 of us, but it’s the thing that we open up with first and foremost. A lot of people easily forget that a third of the psalms are psalms of lament. Where people are praying and crying out to God, even in a poetic way that He would draw near to them, that He would be with them, that He would rescue them from what they’re experiencing. And so there is something unique and powerful as we pray into our meeting.
In that same spirit, I would encourage you as the pastor as you try to encourage your staff to create space in your meeting to grieve. Specifically, grieve the loss of what the have identified as their routine or their rhythm. We are now all living in this new normal world, and it’s strange, it’s bizarre.
We’ve lost the way we used to do things, and we must grieve that loss.
We cannot grow in this unique and troubling season if we don’t first grieve in this unique and worrisome season as well. Create space for your church staff to do that. I’ve been doing that over the last few weeks. And it’s been important to allow them to share. Often as pastors and people who work for a church, there’s a temptation and a tendency to feel like we have to say the right Christian thing. Faith over fear. And even though these things are true, they’re not necessarily accurate to how we’re feeling and what we’re thinking. And so this opportunity for your church staff to grieve allows them to be honest and to process out loud in the presence of God how they are doing during this time.
I would also encourage them to reimagine their role. This a unique time for not less creativity and imagination, but more creativity and imagination, especially when it comes to your staff thinking about what they’re doing for the church right now. Because their primary job when it comes to them and God is to abide in Jesus. They cannot do their job, apart from having a deep ongoing relationship with Jesus. I think it’s true to say that God is far more concerned about the kind of people we are becoming than he is with the kinds of things that we are doing right now. So remind your staff of that truth and encourage them as they remind themselves and really experience who they are before God, so reimagine their roles.
God is far more concerned about the kind of people we are
becoming than he is with the kinds of things that we are doing right now.
So one thing that I’ve had our church staff do over the last several weeks is to call every single person that’s attended our church who regularly attends our church. Maybe it’s a volunteer, or perhaps they oversee our volunteer team, have them reach out and begin connecting with their church and their church members in that particular way.
And as I said, reimagine what God wants to do with their role. We worship and follow the God of resurrection. God is going to do something new in all of us and through all of us. We should be asking Him as we ask each other and imagine our roles. What is something new that God wants to do in us and through us? I hope that in that process, your staff would be encouraged to know that God is still very active God is still very much at work and invites all of us to be a part of that work as well. And so, reimagine your role as a pastor to them,
There is undoubtedly so much for us to be considering and thinking creatively about what God is asking us to do. I think through those things of you first being led and encouraged by Jesus by you giving your church staff space to grieve in the meeting and to share the process with you and the others.
And then lastly, to think creatively, I try to execute this when I do my one-on-ones with my staff. And so, if you aren’t currently doing a one-on-one meeting either weekly or bi-weekly with each of your church staff members, I would start doing that today, right now. It is one of the most practical ways that you can encourage and still be with your church staff in some way, whether it’s to zoom a Google Hangout or FaceTime. Find a way to be with your whole staff weekly. Do one-on-one meetings with each one of your team members every other week. If you have a smaller team, you can do it every week. And I think in those conversations you’re going to be able to think with a fresh imagination about what they can be doing.
And man, remain optimistic about the work of God during this time. The kingdom of God is here. Even more, is coming, even in the midst of us being all scattered.
God is busy. God is at work doing something.
And the wonderful thing about that is that He invites us to be the church right where we are. There is so much still to do that we should take that on with confidence and joy.
Alfredo Ramos was born and raised in Riverside, CA. He graduated from the University of California, Riverside with a BA in Philosophy and later received a Master’s of Divinity from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Alfredo previously served as a high school teacher and VP at Woodcrest Christian High School before becoming pastor at Sandals Church Palm Avenue. More importantly, he’s been married to Ashley for eight years and has two children, Eli (6) and Ella (2). He’s passionate about food, people, culture, and loves to help people find their real-life in Jesus.