Phasing Into a “New Normal”
A practical resource to help RMMN churches transition into a post-corona “new normal”
By Gene Roncone
The coronavirus pandemic has and will continue to change the landscape of modern life. In many ways, our lives and ministries will never be the same. Now is not a time to coast or “wing it.” Ministry in a post-corona world will require discernment and intentionality. Like Israel in the wake of a national crisis, we will need men and women like the sons of Issachar “who understood the times and knew what Israel should do” (1 Chronicles 12:32 NIV). The COVID-19 “shelter in place” or “stay-at-home order” did not happen all at once. It was the result of nearly a month of escalating actions. The purpose of phased mitigation was to give our communities time to adjust within the parameters of their emotional and practical capacities. Returning to a “new normal” will require the same kind of phased intentionality. Wise leaders will know we cannot in one moment switch to “full-throttle” normal. Not only will we need to identify what our “new normal” is but also to phase into it slowly, discerningly, and intentionally. That is why this planning resource was created for our RMMN churches. Knowing it is always easier to make something better than to create it, I have drafted this four-phased template with the input of some very gifted friends whose names are listed in the footnotes.1 I believe it can help you and your church wade into the waters of post-corona ministry. Use it, improve it, or cut and paste it to suit the needs of your unique context. At the very least, reading over it with your team will help you stay out in front of this crisis and bring focus to your re-entry into a moving target I have called our “new normal.” One last encouragement. It is easy to become overwhelmed with feelings of inadequacy during a crisis like this. There is so much to do, so much to learn, and so many uncertainties. Remember, however, that you are a Spirit-filled, God-called child of an Eternal King. No amount of human planning or strategy is an adequate substitute for God’s leading, miraculous provision, and faith. The enemy wants you to think the future is dependent upon you, but it is not and never was. The only expert on this new era of ministry is God Almighty. Aren’t you glad He is on our side!
Contending for community,
Rocky Mountain Ministry Network
District Superintendent/Network Pastor (aka “Helper”)