June 2017 – Vital Care & Counsel

Vital Care & Counsel exists to help SED churches and pastors:

  • Make strategic changes
  • Navigate key decisions
  • Identify & evaluate potential opportunities
  • Assist in critical situations
  • Walk through difficult challenges

This month we want to look specifically at our fourth area, Assisting in Critical Situations. There are some situations that we would all pray we never face…we pray our churches never face. However, the reality is that churches and pastors do face them. Situations like:

  • Declining church attendance

When pastors gather, how many conversations include the phrase “Things are good. We’re growing…”? No pastor likes to say they’ve hit a plateau or that their church is experiencing a decline. And we especially don’t want to admit that we don’t know why or what to do to begin to address it.

But the truth is every pastor eventually faces it. If you haven’t yet…it’s coming. So when it does, how do you evaluate it?  How do you recognize the factors creating it? Where do you find possible solutions? Everyone can benefit from another perspective from another vantage. There is an old axiom that says, “Two heads are better than one.” And Proverbs 15:22 says, “Without counsel, purposes are disappointed, but in the multitude of counselors they are established.” (MEV)

With this additional insight factors can be discovered and realities can be identified. Both must occur before real change is possible.

  • Moral failure in key leaders

One of the worst things a pastor or church can face is a moral failure of a key leader. And who has ever received training while in college or seminary to lead in that situation? In fact, if mishandled the situation risks becoming a legal. The cut and dried voices call for punitive action. The compassionate voices call for grace. And the silent voices make judgements about any decision…every decision.

Wise leaders will find another leader who has walked through it and ask questions like:

  • How they made their assessment?
  • Who gave wise council?
  • How they came to their decision?
  • Who was informed and how that information was handled?
  • What did and didn’t work AND WHY?
  • Impacts to our congregation because of facility damage/loss

Most pastors have never considered how a hurricane, flood, fire or other cause of major damage to their building might impact the congregation. What is communicated and how it is communicated is more important than many know. Because some people will see a lack of communication/information as a lack of leadership and decide to go somewhere else if they feel it is missing. Others aren’t willing to be inconvenienced and will take the same exit.

Even finding temporary meeting space can have unintended consequences to the future. So the selection process should include more considerations than just availability and affordability.

  • Navigating financial emergencies

Financial crises can be created by the situations outlined above, as well as, others.  Potential safeguards and solutions need to be put in place well before they are needed. However, if they aren’t solutions may still be available.

Vital Care & Counsel is ready to assist SED pastors & churches as they navigate decisions in these areas and others. For additional info contact Paul Glenn directly pglenn@foursquare.org or his cell 704.239.0569.

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