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You’ll never build a healthy church without a healthy team.

With stay at home orders loosening in several states many churches are beginning the push to reopen their buildings for services.

Most of those churches are planning to do so with guidelines in place to keep the attendees as safe as possible. And many churches believe it’s possible to create the kind of environment that allows people to worship while maintaining a safe distance. We’ll know in the coming weeks if they’re right.

With all of the planning and rethinking of in-person services, there is one reason that churches should NOT reopen that I don’t hear anyone talking about—

The spiritual, mental, and emotional health of your team.

In the last 8 weeks, we’ve experienced one of the greatest shifts in the history of Christian ministry and it happened almost overnight. If you’re like the other leaders I’ve talked with they feel like they’ve been doing the 40-yard dash for the last 40 days in a row.

I’m concerned that in our rush back to in-person gatherings that we’re beginning a new 40-yard dash without pausing to take a breath. 

For safety reasons, the weekend service will need to look dramatically different and that will take a lot of work.

One church I talked to recently was trying to navigate how they encourage social distancing in a lobby that’s relatively small for their church as well as restrooms that aren’t conducive for 6-foot gaps between people. They aren’t running any children’s environments, because how in the world do you get kids to social distance, and due to the quick pivot to online services they have a new streaming service they’ll need to get up and running in their auditorium.

I understand the desire to get back to creating an in-person setting where people can hear about Jesus and connect with others who are following Him. But I wonder if there’s wisdom in pausing for rest before the next run.

My teammate Lance Witt says,

Following Jesus cannot be done at a sprint. You can’t live life at warp speed without warping your soul.”

If you’re not sure about the state of your team today consider this exercise I learned from Pastor Dave Ferguson years ago.

Check your RPM’s. Ask your team to rate themselves on a scale of 1-10 in each of these areas.

Relational

  • How are my relationships at home?
  • What are my relationships at work like?
  • Which relationships give me energy and which drain my energy?

Physical

  • Am I getting enough rest?
  • How is my energy level?
  • Am I maintaining good health?

Mental

  • Have I been learning lately?
  • Am I applying what I’m learning?
  • What thoughts dominate my mind? Do they pull me closer to God or push me away from Him?

Spiritual

  • How is my relationship with Jesus right now?
  • Do I feel close to Him or distant?
  • What has God been saying to me lately?

If your team is scoring themselves lower in any of these areas it may be wise to slow down, allow them to breathe, and not rush back to your in-person services.

You’ll never build a healthy church without a healthy team.

I hope we don’t continue our sprint for the sake of reopening buildings at the expense of warping our teams due to the pace.

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