Training in a COVID-19 world

Rob Morton on What Comes Next: Training

The Level 4 Lockdown caught many of us in church leadership by surprise. We had to scramble to set up online church, imagine new ways for running home groups and youth groups, and set up new systems to care for our vulnerable. 

I have seen churches set up Zoom church, invite their friends to a Facebook Live event, or email out links to YouTube sermons. 

It doesn’t matter what platform or App you used – I reckon each one of these is a metaphor for our ministry! 

Is your church like a Zoom meeting? 

Zoom is an app that allows many people to meet, many people to speak, and many people to join the conversation. Some churches are like that – lots of people are trained and equipped to lead, to speak, to take responsibilities in the church and community.  

Is your church like a Facebook Live? 

Some churches are more like Facebook Live. Certain people are up the front, doing the work of ministry. The rest of the congregation are invited to ‘like’ and ‘react’, and even to make comments if they wish – but that is usually all they do.  

Maybe your church is like a YouTube video?

Other churches are more like a single YouTube video; a sermon recorded by the pastor and emailed to the people. One man, one microphone, everyone else is there to watch him and learn from him. 

Well, I’m not the most tech-savvy guy, so I had better not press this metaphor too far! 

But this does make me reflect on what Paul told the church in Ephesians 4:11-12: Jesus gave us pastors, teachers, Bible teachers and leaders to “equip his people for works of service”. 

I always say that church is not a cruise liner (one captain, the rest of us are passengers) but a waka (we all have to row – otherwise we’re dead weight!).  

One of the blessings of the Level 4 Lockdown is that many Christians have had to step up in ministry, pastoral care, Bible study and teaching the Scriptures. I think we need more of this “every member ministry”, not less, even as we come out of lockdown. 

So let me ask you a few questions to ponder over: 

Who has stepped up into a new role in your church, and should they continue? 

Who can you train for ministry and leadership to become more like a Zoom Church? 

How can local churches train everyday members to become more involved, and more confident, in ministry? 

If you’d like to chat to me about this, I am keen and happy to hear from you

Rob Morton
3TRUSTS and CCCNZ Training and Scholarships Coordinator 
027 758 7733


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