Since I’m currently involved in two different churches, delivering seven video sermons per month between the two, recording and producing them completely on my own, I’m making twice as many mistakes as most pastors when it comes to virtual preaching.
But I’m also learning twice as fast (I hope!)
By the grace of God, I had a few things in place before virtual church services and sermons became necessary:
A few days ago I got the tires on my pickup changed over. And since the tire shop I like to use doesn’t have a branch in the community in which we live, I drove an hour and half down the highway to the nearest shop.
But it’s a beautiful drive, mountains on both sides most of the way, river valley, deer and elk often along the side and in the clearings. Plus I wanted to go to a computer shop and do some price checks on a new tower since my old laptop, which is absolutely perfect for 90% of what I do, really struggles with video production.
When I hit “produce” on a 20 minute segment, or in some cases an entire one hour service, my computer is out of play for 45-90 minutes. Generally I can plan my day around that block, but in some cases, like right now when I am involved in two different churches often producing content for both in the same week, it’s a real pain.
Anyway, on the drive I listened to a few podcasts, one of which was a couple marketers talking about how things are sold online, particularly training and courses- generally referred to as information products. They were discussing the common practice of adding a lot of bonuses to a given product to increase perceived value, and make it seem like a good deal.
One of the marketers then raised an interesting point. He said “What if you simply planned your product- your teaching, training, whatever- around this question: If I only got paid for results, I’d do this?” To put it another way, if you only got paid for results what would your product be?
Whenever a crisis hits we get bumped into survival mode. But then the new context is normalized and we begin to get our bearings. As soon as you move beyond survival mode and into ministry mode you need to develop a ministry plan for the current context.
You will likely need to learn some new technical skills and new tactics along the way such video recording and streaming, holding meetings and services online, working from home. But then you will be on your feet, feeling more oriented than disoriented and it will be time for the ministry plan.
What we all need to realize is that crisis or no crisis, the basic task is the same as it’s always been: be a disciple who make disciples.
Once you reaffirm this calling, it’s time for the two-step:
Here’s a question I’ve been mulling on lately: When the dust settles from all this covid craziness, what percentage of pastors, who were solidly employed at the start of 2020, will have been laid off permanently and be unable to find church-based employment for a year or more?
I will share my prediction in a bit, but first let’s look at some of the factors that will come into play.
This isn’t a post about productivity or generic work-from-home tips. It’s specifically for pastors who suddenly find themselves working 100% from home.
Here are some pastor-specific ideas about working from home in these days.
First, it’s important to use our time well, wisely, but I would suggest using it in a different manner than we have. If you’ve been a driven, running on the redline, high producer, workaholic type, slow down. If you’ve in the past been a slacker, wasting a lot of your ministry work week doing administrivia or low value time wasting tasks, become more rigorous about tracking how much you are working and what you are doing. Times of transition are excellent opportunities to implement lasting change, and these days in the spring and early summer of 2020 are in that sense a gift.