As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, most likely all your ministry plans and events are canceled for the next few months. Aside from developing your sermon and minimizing the effort that goes into a weekly Sunday morning service, you and your staff may be wondering what to do while we all wait this out for the next few weeks or months.
Here are some things to do for your whole staff. Some ideas below can be done from home as well if you’re not able to get into the church office.
- Focus on improving your speaking abilities. Review your recorded messages, watch yourself, makes notes of what you do well and don’t do well. Ask other good presenters to watch with you and discuss what you can do to improve.
- If you haven’t started already, begin to review and update your budget. Focus on cutting or minimizing all non-essential expenses. If you don’t have a long-term plan for savings, start that now and make a multi-year plan to build up your reserves.
- Divided up the database and start calling and texting your people. See how they are, pray with them, ask if they need anything, calm their fears, tell a funny story to lighten their day. Any staff member can do this. Calling is the best because hearing a voice means a lot more.
- Write thank you and encouragement cards to members of the church for their support and attendance and volunteerism. Mail them through the post office so they arrive unexpectedly in a few days.
- Have the pastors call those who give financially and thank them for trusting the Lord and the church with their offerings.
- Update all the computers and servers in the offices.
- Scan old paper files that you need to keep, but can archive digitally. Then organize those on your server or network storage.
- Shred old paper files.
- If you currently use in-house servers or non-cloud-based email system, now is the time to adjust and move to cloud-based. If you have a tech person to do this, utilize them. It can take a while to transfer the data, so plan accordingly. That’s why now is a good time to do this!
- Reorganize the office. Move staff around to better locations or offices.
- Get out those By-Laws that were last updated 30 years ago and update them. Copy them to a Google Doc or Office 360 system (or anything that can be shared remotely) and then allow your Elder Board (or whomever is appropriate) to work on them simultaneously. Have video conference with those people to discuss what changes should be made and how to go about it.
- Clean up the database! This seems to be a never-ending problem, but now you can truly focus on it. Update names, addresses, emails, and phone numbers. Remove the deceased and those who no longer associate with your church. It you’re not sure about certain people, call them up, see how they’re doing and then ask about their status as it relates to your database.
- Take some online classes to learn how to use your database better. Most ChMS systems have online training or videos.
- If you’re not a social media expert…learn to be one! Each SM platform is unique, has advantages and disadvantages for communicating. Learn them, test them, master them. This virus and it’s effects to the church are not going away anytime soon. The use of online and social media IS the new norm.
- Update your website. If you outsource this, then research what you like and communicate to your vendor what you’re wanting to do for changes. Even though resources may become tighter in the future, your website is your Front Door. Make it awesome and attractive. You can’t afford to not invest in this now!
- Clean out those closets! Every church has a storage utilization problem. Go buy some bins and organize those closets that have doors that barely shut.
- If you haven’t moved your payroll to an outside payroll company, consider doing this now. Research companies that can provide this service, consider the options, and then do the transfer. It can take time to learn how this affects your finance staff, but in the long run, will be simpler, faster and much more efficient.
- Update all your policies and procedures, removing those that hinder your ability to minister, and adjust those that are leaving you vulnerable.
- If you preach, use this time to organize your sermon notes, future ideas, key phrases, jokes and stories, and graphics.
- Have your Sunday morning techs clean up the sound booth. Adjust the cables, clean up the area, find that buzz and get rid of it for good!
- Here’s a BONUS! Buy my CHURCH BUSINESS book and learn how to improve the day-to-day business aspects of your church…the stuff you never learned in seminary but have to deal with anyway. It’s a 5-star rating!
What are you doing to keep busy and improve your church?