Today I welcome my first two time guest, Ryan Latham. Ryan and I go back a ways and wrote a book together called Prepared for Impact. Ryan is the founder of Renewed Leadership, a staff training organization for churches and businesses. Today he brings you some critical tips to saving your jobs if your church is in crisis.

These tips are not just for weathering a pandemic. These tips are for any crisis which upsets the natural order of things causing your church to re-evaluate money issues like salaries and staffing; things like a church split or a natural disaster.

This is not the first crisis your church will face and it will not be the last. Keep these tips in mind when a crisis comes to your church.

FINANCIALLY

Financial uncertainty is a reality in our nation right now. It is unknown how all of this will affect the financial state of the church. 20%, 40%, more? and for how long? For staff members, this must be a reality for us and not just our Lead Pastor, the CFO and the board.

Here are two ways that you can show support in the area of finances.

  1. Offer to Take a Temporary Salary Reduction for the Next Few Months.
    WHAT?! Yes, offer to take a voluntary pay reduction. This sounds crazy. But if everyone reduce by a small amount, it can make a BIG difference. If 5 people take 20% off their salary, that can save one person’s whole salary.
  2. Offer to Increase Your Giving By X% for the Next Few Months.

Plant extra seeds toward the future and show your commitment to the whole church and not just the youth ministry.

TEMPORARY RALLY CRY

Freedom! The immortal declaration of William Wallace in Braveheart isn’t exactly what we are looking for, but we do need a temporary rally cry. As Pastors and staff are moving at a fast pace and more trust is being given with work times and space, it is important that upper leaders know what you are going after and that it’s in alignment with the church’s rally cry.

Your team needs a temporary rally cry, a vision that can unite their efforts and energy. Pastors need to know what their teams are going after, so they can feel confident that they are making a unified effort to reach the church.
It’s ok to have a temporary rally cry. This is not who we are permanently, but this is who we are currently.

Keep in mind that your temporary rally could become a permanent one. Discoveries are being made and the church is finding new ways to do things, including the youth ministry.

OVER COMMUNICATE

Communicate, communicate, communicate. Good
communicators communicate the same information in different forms.

They utilize text, email, GroupMe, social media, pigeon carries (ok, maybe not today). Good communicators understand that not everyone is on social media all day. If you post something one time, it doesn’t mean everyone saw it.

You have to remember that just because you post something, it doesn’t mean every kid saw it, regardless of the platform you use. Use every tool in your tool box. Post everywhere and be specific to your audience.

Post on Facebook for parents and other church people. Do Instagram live to re-enforce a graphic you posted. Over do it.

Be sure to e-mail your pastor about what you’re doing. Send them stories and testimonies of kids that are being reached through Zoom. Let them know your schedule and the effort you are putting forward to do your job virtually.

Three Things to Communicate

1) What is the plan?

2) How will we execute the plan?

3) How will we communicate the plan?

Three Directions to Communicate

1) Up. Take the initiative to communicate to whom you report. Perhaps you turn in a weekly report with wins, losses, and learns. This is not the time to assume your supervisors know what you are doing.
2) Side. Communicate to the team that you lead.
3) Down. Communicate to the people you serve.

BE AN ENCOURAGER

Paul needed Barnabas and your Pastor needs you. The
name Barnabas means the son of encouragement or the son of comfort. That is exactly what your Pastor and those on your team need.

Here are four ways to bring encouragement.

  1. Stay Optimistic
    Look at the things you have, not the things you don’t have.
  2. Say “Thank you” Often
    Look for unique ways to say thank you. Maybe write a letter, send a video, or have your family draw pictures that you mail out.
  3. Extend Grace
    In this season, people are in need of extra grace as they navigate working from home, home schooling, financial uncertainty, and a host of other issues.
  4. Pray with People
    Ask people how you can pray for them and even pray with them on your Zoom call, or write out your prayer in a text.

Encourage people the say way you communicate Up-Side-Down, privately and publicly.

Lastly, and most important, be encouraging to the people in your own home, your wife, your kids, etc. Don’t be critical of the church’s decision, rather pray for them. Criticism only poisons your heart and actually de-motivates you from doing your best. Keep your home strong in the middle of your crisis. The church may not always stand by you, but your family will.

Stay strong youth workers, we’re in this together.

To grab six more crisis tips go to https://www.renewedleadership.org/myjob

If you are in crisis, this could also be the best time to get coaching. I started Ministry Minded Coaching to help youth workers like you not only build successful youth ministries but to help you navigate your youth ministry careers.

If you’d like to check it out, send me an e-mail at thedproject@me.com and sit in on a session to see if coaching is for you.

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