Are you still reeling from the impact of all the events and repercussions of 2020 and 2021?
What were the impacts for you and your people:
- lockdowns, especially for aged people – maybe in your congregations, your aged care facilities, maybe your own relatives,
- lockouts for church facilities – such as limited worship services, limited children’s and youth activities,
- limited or no access to your favourite restaurants and cafes
- reduced tithes, offerings and donations received – significantly reduced or not
- congregational closure/s because of financial issues – reduced income and/or inability to meet expenses
- reduced attendees at services and Zoom meetings – some people have been unable or unwilling to maintain their connection via Zoom, people have moved on or moved away from your congregation/group/organisation, to other venues or not attending at all
- difficulties in applying the various restrictions imposed by health, government or denominational authorities such as the “vax passport”, masking or not, social distancing
What is going to happen in 2022? and,
What measures have you implemented or plan to implement to counter further detrimental impacts?
Here are 7 points to help you consider your 2022.
These include references to our previous blog in December: “How to Prepare for Your Best Year Yet in church 2022”.
- Church leaderships will face a lot of challenges for 2022 to progress the life of their communities.
- The movement of people around churches and other NFP organisations will continue and may increase
- Virtual meetings are here to stay
- Online access to Christian worship and teaching will continue in popularity
- An active web presence will be essential for churches
- Consistent contact with members and all attendees will be essential
- Have you reviewed the church’s organisations financial management, in detail (see also December’s point #5)
1. Church leaderships will face a lot of challenges for 2022 to progress the life of their communities.
How is your followup progressing with a review based on our previous blog?
We suggested 7 ways to prepare for 2022. Each one is important and we again recommend you and your team take advantage of that checklist. If you would like some assistance with the review or implementing any of your outcomes please respond here and we can discuss possibilities with you
2. The movement of people will continue and may increase
People are on the move in large numbers, including significant people, ie those holding key positions in churches and NFPs
The “great resignation” has been widely publicised in the media and the reality is quite evident in our cities and towns. Large numbers of businesses are advertising for staff – evidenced by notices in shop windows, empty shelves waiting for staff to stock-up, businesses are closed temporarily or permanently because of lack of staff. It is well known and documented that thousands of people are moving-on from their employment. People are taking advantage of the new environment and moving house – especially noticeable is the move out of cities to regional areas.
At the same time many people are changing their church attendance by “going local” or simply going to another church that is not haphazard in its openings and services.
It is imperative to understand what is happening for everyone in your congregations.
Whilst these movements are happening it can also mean that:
People could be moving into your area, especially if you are in one of the regional “go to” areas; or
Your church could be a local “sought after church” that people will “try and see if it is attractive”.
How is your church mobilising the members and committees to take advantage of these people movements?
3. Virtual meetings are here to stay
After 2 years of virtual meetings across the community it is clear that churches and other organisations will continue to use various online platforms to offer meetings – whether church services, committee and board meetings or other general meetings. It has become apparent that virtual meetings have many advantages in special circumstances and not just to overcome the challenges caused by the lockdown related restrictions.
Virtual meetings are helpful to save travel, such as when the meeting is for a limited time, or a special need such as committee, or when a member is unable to attend in person eg away travelling or on vacation.
What is your church doing to facilitate the ongoing use of your preferred virtual meeting platforms such as Zoom for interactive meetings and live-streaming for large meetings? Setup a church account with the provider. Ensure there are people trained who can assist users to make it easy to use these platforms.
4. Online access to Christian worship and teaching will continue in popularity
People have been attending church services locally and around the world during this past 2 years, since the lockdown restrictions have been operating. People who don’t live anywhere near a church in NZ, the USA, Pacific, or UK are “checking out” how other people are “doing church” and finding forms that are new for them and often attractive for many and varied reasons. This has allowed them to regularly attend a new church and move away from attending their previous local church.
We all know that there have been international ministries on TV for many years regularly attracting thousands of people. Now there are new viewers-attendees taking advantage of these worship and teaching ministries from the comfort of their own homes because their local church is enforcing restrictions.
What about your church – are you regularly offering live streaming of your worship services? Is it easy for people to access your church for both worship services and teaching ministries. We have had contact with churches who have recognised “new people” access their online worship and teaching, these people include people with disabilities, people not wanting to mix in crowds yet, people in remote locations, their own members travelling, local people looking for a church (new church).
5. An active web presence will be essential for churches
Your church’s active web presence will be more important than ever (see also December’s point #4)
The big detractors in these times are:
- stale website, and it is easy for an inquirer to see that it is stale
- stale content on the church’s Facebook and Instagram pages
- inactive site on Google maps
- when you offer podcasts or sermons and teachings, be sure they are current
- inaccurate links or contact forms
- inactive followup on web originated inquiries
Now is the time to deal with each of these points and bring your web presence to current
Implement some maintenance regular procedures.
It is better to have no presence than a stale and tired web presence
6. Consistent contact with members and all attendees will be essential
The movements of people, described above, make it imperative that you have active and clear pastoral care and followup processes in place.
As the people move away love them
As people come into your sphere of contact, love them too, and:
- be sure to identify these new contacts – either in person or online
- have an active and friendly face-to-face welcoming team for visitors
- have a contact system for online contacts
- ensure there is an active and systematic followup with strategies for engagement with people, adults and young people
Why are people visiting your church and what can you do to engage with them and help them if necessary?
7. Consistent Review, in detail, the church’s/organisations financial management
The past 2 years will have put a lot of strain on the finances of your Church or NFP.
We recommend you do a “deep dive” review, and use our guide in our December’s blog see point #5)
As you prepare for a new year ahead, we encourage you to consider each of these predictions. If you need assistance to review and assess the state of your Church or Organisations financial matters, contact our team today: