Providing Clear Vision for Your Church While in a Crisis

Posted by Aaron Buer on May 7, 2020

One of the essential roles of a leader is to provide clarity around vision and mission.

This is important at all levels.

Your people are looking to you whether you’re the senior pastor, children’s director, or a hospitality coordinator.

We are leaders and we set the tone.  

So, how do we provide clear vision with so much uncertainty?

Most of us don’t even know when we will be allowed to gather in our church buildings again.  

Kevin, a senior pastor I’m connected with, recently shared how he is directing his staff leadership to think and act right now.

I believe his three-question framework can be helpful.  

What Does Your Ministry Look Like Right Now?


In light of the situation we’re in right now, consider asking each of your ministry leaders to answer these questions:

  • What does your ministry look like right now?
  • What are you asking your volunteers to do?
  • How are you sustaining the critical  elements of your ministry?
  • How are you resourcing parents under the current constraints?
  • How are you leveraging the opportunities?  

The key is to be clear on expectations and require clarity from those who report to you on what they are attempting to accomplish in this season.  

As a senior leader, it’s important to provide clear direction in the moment.

Consider giving the people under your leadership two or three priorities in this season: “Here’s what I want you to focus on right now.”  

What Will Your Ministry Look Like a Month From Now?


Uncertainty can be a trust killer.

If we don’t provide a clear picture of what’s next, especially in a season like this, people become anxious and or apathetic.

This is why our last few posts have been around planning what’s next for your church.

What’s the strategy for the middle ground between a fully online church and back to gathering in large groups at our church building?

If your church leadership, volunteers, and congregation don’t have clarity on this, you’re missing a huge opportunity to focus energy and effort, and you’re opening the door for distrust.  

I would encourage you to have your ministry leaders answer the question of, “what does our ministry look like a month from now?”

Requiring the leaders of your student ministry, worship ministry, small groups, children’s ministry, and other ministries to answer this question will help bring clarity throughout the entire church.

Also, if ministry leaders can’t answer this problem, you know you have a leadership challenge on your hands.

Providing clear vision is critical to leadership.  

What Will Your Ministry Look Like Six Months From Now?  


You may be wondering how you’re supposed to look this far into the future when we don’t know what’s going to happen with this virus, the economy, or people’s fears concerning gathering with other people.

You don’t need to have all the answers, but you do need to be thinking and dreaming about what’s coming and how you’ll respond to it.

And, I might caution you against believing that in six months things will be the way they were in February.

Carey Nieuwhof is a pastor and leadership author who has some great resources on how to lead through a crisis.

Recently, Carey said,

“The best way to flatten your innovation curve is to believe the current crisis is an interruption and not a disruption.”

Since this crisis began, most of us have innovated and adapted in ways we would have never thought possible a few months ago—fully online church, small groups meeting on Zoom, to name a few.  

If we believe we just need to wait until things return to the way they were, our ability to innovate and think creatively will dwindle quickly.

Also, I’m not sure we will ever fully return to how we did church before.

I’m not saying everything will change permanently, but some things likely will.

At the very least, I expect this disruption will last far longer than many of us originally anticipated.

How will we adapt to these changes?  

We need to be thinking ahead.

We need to invite our leaders to dream with us.

We need to be ready to meet these challenges and opportunities.

Wrap Up

Something I’m beginning to recognize is that I am not good at dreaming about the future when I’m exhausted.

Many of us have been going and going and running on caffeine since this crisis began.

Can I suggest that it’s time to return to healthy work boundaries?

Without Sabbath rest, enough sleep, regular exercise, quiet time with God, and dates with our spouses, we will not have the energy and focus to provide clear vision to our churches, dream, and plan for the future.

I guess what I’m saying is, don’t forfeit your future healthy leadership for crisis leadership right now.  

We’d love to hear from you.

Share below how you’re working with your team to plan for the future and provide clarity around vision for your church.

Topics: Advice

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