What to be curious about, Part I: The shape of future ministry

This is first in a series of posts about ministry planning in a COVID-19 world.

Part I: The Shape of the Plan

Part II: Adaptive Leadership

Part III: Family Centered Faith Formation

Part IV: Design Thinking and Startup Mindset

What to be curious about one page .pdf resource. (subscribers, please check your email)

Did you know curiosity is an emotion? This is something I learned recently while walking with Brene Brown. As in, I walk while listening to her lecture, “Rising Strong as a Spiritual Practice” Hopefully ministry leaders are taking the time to pause, rest, and make a list of what you are noticing about life, faith, and ministry  in COVID-19

Assuming you, like me, might have the luxury of the next two months to plan for fall ministry, I suggest taking out the list of what you have noticed and approaching it with curiosity. I place a high value on curiosity. In fact it is one of our areas of focus for Sunday school. Learn more about that in this article I wrote for Spiritual Parent.

I am creating a series of posts on topics I am very curious about as they relate to faith formation ministry in a COVID-19 world. Included in each post are resources for learning more.

What is the shape of the plan we are creating?

teeter totter
Created by Christine V. Hides, free to use with attribution.

I came up with an image of a teeter totter to describe what our plan for fall will become. Our ministry purpose, “why” and values, “how”  are the unchanging fulcrum of the seesaw. On one side of the teeter totter we have the digitally enabled ministry of the future. What emerged out of necessity that is fruitful to carry forward. What new things is God doing? What other digital ministry opportunities are a good match for your context? How can old, siloed models be let go of to embrace something new?

Gathered worship and faith formation are the other side of the teeter totter. This part of the plan includes phased reopening plans for different areas and age groups of ministry. Gathered ministry is highly dependent on guidance from local government and denominational leaders. I’ve collected a number of resources for reopening here.  Over time the balance of digital and gathered ministry will shift, sometimes rapidly, depending on circumstances beyond our control.

As many of our playgrounds are closed right now, it is worth noting that teeter totters are meant to be used. The plan we are developing is meant for our church communities to use. Teeter totters are also playful. Let us notice the presence of the Holy Spirit as we implement this plan meant to equip disciples who grow, worship, and delight in God.

Imagine the shape of your ministry for fall. Where do you see God doing a new thing? What are you curious about? What brings you joy? What shape is your plan? 


Four Things You Need for Planning

Vibrant Faith Catalyst is a network of leaders committed to creating vibrant lifelong Christian Faith Formation

Ministry Architects Tools and Resources for sustainable ministry

Resources for Naming Your “Why”

A Reflection on Ministry Purpose

Lifelong Faith Journals are full of best practices and tools for finding your “why”

Simon Sinek’s Ted Talk: The Power of Why (recommended to me by Tanya Campen in a Vibrant Faith Master class)

Resources for Online Faith Formation

Resources from Christine V. Hides

New to Digital Faith Formation? Start here.

Eformation Learning Community, equipping leaders for digital ministry

Resources for Gathered Ministry:

Reopening Plans and Information

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