Discipleship During Lockdown

The Church has never had so much access to great online content about God, but what makes people part of your congregation is their connection with each other and with you — the way you live life with God together as people: discipleship.

Here are a couple ways you can serve your church right now to help them grow as disciples during a pandemic lockdown.

Ask

Find out what your church would most appreciate from you during this time.

Since the task of leadership is to lead people from one reality to another, we have to understand someone’s situation in order to be most helpful to them. A few months ago, everyone’s situation changed — and it was different for each person — so we need to do some research to help us bring the safety and stretching to our people that good leadership provides.

Asking people what they feel they need from us may feel strange, but this is responsive leadership. We can’t do everybody’s shopping for them, but understanding their new and nuanced pressures, worries and passions will help us connect the Good News of Jesus to their “new normal.”

You could use a tool like SurveyMonkey, email, or simply call and ask some questions, such as:

  • What are you finding hardest about lockdown in general?
  • What’s hardest about being a Christian right now?
  • How could the church family support you?
  • How could you support others in the church family?

Help Process

Help people process the change they’re experiencing, and make space for those conversations to happen.

There’s lots going on for people right now. Our ability to grow through times of change is tied to our ability to process the changes that are taking place. Teaching your way through a relevant New Testament Letter will be even more useful if people have had a chance to catch up with themselves and what they’re experiencing. Using coaching-style questions will help people process, free up their emotional bandwidth for new information, and create meaningful conversations. Some examples would be:

  1. What do you miss about how things were?
  2. What are you learning to embrace about how things are?
  3. What are you getting used to?
  4. What are you still finding difficult?
  5. Where do you need God’s courage at the moment?
  6. Where do you need God’s comfort?

You could send these out by text, use them in a phone call, post them on social media, or host a Zoom coffee catch up where people can reflect together.

Use what you learn from those steps to make a plan of action. Take the pressure off creating dazzling online content because your church wants genuine human connection more than they want a picture-perfect livestream. Both are useful, but be mindful of how much time you’re investing in either. When this is over, would you rather have grown in technical ability or in relationship?

When this is over, would you rather have grown in technical ability or in relationship? ~ Benedict Atkins Click To Tweet

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About the Author
Benedict Atkins

Benedict Atkins

Ben lives in the old docks of East London, UK with his family and friends where he has been planting a neighbourhood church for the last four years. If you want to say hi or start a conversation you can find him on instagram @benedict.atkins.

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