If we have learned anything in the last 2 years, it is that life is complex and uncertain. People are shaken, disoriented, and confused by the events happening on a global level that have very real and personal consequences. In complex times, people look to their leaders for stability and guidance. And yet, leaders themselves are shaken too, their sense of direction and vision for the future is also challenged. But there is a unique and wonderful opportunity to provide stability and guidance.
We have been called for such a time as this and as people are lost and questioning, we have the possibility to point people towards God, who will be their steady anchor. Our role as leaders and pastors is crucial.
The challenge of pastoring in complex times is that the need is great, and there is a risk that we might focus on the wrong things.
We want to suggest 4 focuses for healthy pastoring.
First, we need to be pastorally minded.
Now is the time to be present in people’s lives and focus on their well-being. Focusing only on vision and goals for your church when your people need help to get through the present can be dangerous.
Second, we need to be real and authentic.
We can’t ignore the problem and the challenges that people are facing by being overly positive. This requires a healthy vulnerability on our part and a willingness to listen to people. You can tell them that you don’t know, that you’re also struggling… People will feel like they can relate to you.
Third, we need to preach the word of God and avoid other debates.
The word of God is the ultimate truth, and we are called to preach a message of hope. Be careful of fighting the wrong fight by focusing on current affairs and political debates. Our role is to point people to God, to the cross and to be Christ-centered in the message we bring. That’s our place of unity: Jesus!
Lastly, keep as much stability and regularity as possible.
While we need to remain flexible to respond to changing circumstances, a time of crisis is not the right time to completely restructure the church. This can place an unnecessary burden on your teams and leaders when they themselves are feeling stretched. We also believe that your voice, as the pastor, is the one that will bring a sense of safety, so be there and preach most of the time!
As a Christian leader, you are perfectly positioned to offer people a sure hope that extends beyond the complexity of the times we are living in.
“He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure”
As you fear the Lord and submit your leadership to Him, he will give you the treasure of His salvation, wisdom and knowledge that you can share with others.