Category: COVID-19 Resources

In response to the world-disrupting COVID-19 pandemic, NEXT Church has been working hard to offer useful resources for faith leaders and their communities. We’ll be offering a special Facebook Live conversation as part of our Cultivated Ministry program called “5 Reasons to Assess, Even When Nothing is Normal.” These resources also include blog posts reflecting on the pandemic and offering tips for virtual meetings and worship. You can find more information below.

5 Reasons to Assess, Even When Nothing is Normal

Cultivated Ministry Live Conversation

Evaluation and assessment of ministry is probably the last thing on your mind right now. You’ve already got enough on your plate figuring out how to be church when our usual ways of gathering are disrupted, crises in our communities are more acute than ever, and the pastoral care needs are growing. We’re with you. And we think this is the exactly right time to pay attention to assessing our ministry to deepen and enhance the work we are doing. Join us for a conversation about why assessing ministry right now may actually provide some solid grounding in a tumultuous season.

Who: Church Leaders interested in the meaning and impact of their work.

What: Live conversation between Shavon Starling Louis (pastor) and Jessica Tate (NEXT Church Director) about using Cultivated Ministry, even when we are wading through a global pandemic.

When: May 7, 2-2:45pm eastern

Where: Facebook Live, via the NEXT Church Facebook page

You can learn more about Cultivated Ministry here.

Thanks to the Presbyterian Foundation for sponsoring the development of this resource.

Surviving and Thriving: Adaptive Leadership Learning Communities

An Opportunity for Church Leaders

A joint effort by NEXT Church and MaryAnn McKibben Dana

When: Six Weeks, beginning Thursday, May 14, 2-3:30pm eastern / 11am-12:30pm pacific; 2nd and 4th Thursdays
Where: Zoom
Who: Church leaders. 6-9 participants to maximize learning, interaction, and accountability.
How much: $300 registration fee. Be in touch with Jessica Tate if cost is a barrier.

“Everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new.”

All of us are learning what life looks like as we worship and serve during a global pandemic. Already we are wondering what of this new way of being we will take with us into a faithful and creative future as the pandemic subsides.

How can we avoid the pitfalls of going back to “normal”? How will we do this work sustainably, exercising care and kindness toward ourselves and others? How do we — as the church — move from survival mode to one of thriving, even as the situation around us is devastatingly challenging?

MaryAnn McKibben Dana, a pastor, speaker, and Associate Certified Coach with the International Coach Federation, is facilitating group coaching cohorts to engage these and related questions. We will work with tools of adaptive leadership, design thinking, and improvisation. Participants will learn from one another, develop individual goals and plans, and support one another in a spirit of accountability.

In the merry month of May…

this year, might we broaden our focus, and create a Memorial Day – dedicated to those now gone due to this illness, and strongly representing our commitment to caring for the living who are hurting, by caring for and remembering all those who have in these months lost their dearest loved ones, and who are grieving so deeply.

I’m an Asian-American pastor in a Black immigrant church in Queens, NY, sick with COVID-19 and family working in healthcare. Here’s what that’s like.

I suppose as a pastor this is the point where I should make some grand statement about God and providence and salvation, or something. To be honest, though, I have had almost no time to reflect. I’m too in-the-moment and too wired in crisis-brain to have any profound, theologically-robust insight.

The Grace of Achieving Nothing

In light of God’s Grace, perhaps the question isn’t “what do you want to get out of this” or “how do you want to maximize on this opportunity”, as if a pandemic is something that we extract value and meaning out of. The Grace of God asks us instead “what is being revealed?” What do you see? What do you hear? What have you experienced? What are you going through?

There’s a very important distinction there, because there’s no wrong answer. The focus moves away from planning one’s way through a pandemic, and more on what God is doing right now, and bearing witness to it in the past tense- today has enough troubles, so how did you see God today?