May 11, 2020

The First Five | May 11, 2020

by Lee Coate in The First Five

Five Things to Focus on this Week towards the New Normal

1. STRATEGIZE towards a less CAPTIVE audience. 

  1. Your church’s reentry may lag behind everything else in your community. Your team needs to be aware of this possibility and creativity collaborate to build bridges should a reentry gap emerge.
  2. Post-Easter, churches are reporting flat or declining online attendance numbers. Here are some factors that are attributing to that:
    1. Typical attendance patterns seem to be re-emerging on our digital platforms. As our church “re-enters” into different parts of their lives or grows weary of “screen time”, online attendance may reflect that (Attend 1 out of 2/3 weekends). Digital and screen fatigue is real with people.

2. FORM your future digital decisions based on vision, not the FATIGUE and FRUSTRATION you may currently be FEELING.

  1. This is a time to reshape, NOT retreat. Keep in mind that the flattening of digital attendance is likely a more accurate picture of digital opportunity.  Strategize accordingly. 
  2. Spend some time focusing your messaging and engagement via online – eliminate the digital “buffet” that may have emerged..  Now is the time to be more specific and intentional.

3. GUARD your MESSAGING carefully

  1. Begin focused Re-Entry Conversations with your team as we move towards a new normal.
  2. Language creates culture. So in this instance, encourage the use of “reentry” not “reopen”.  We can’t spend months saying the church is not the building and then immediately use language that communicates we have been closed. Again, language matters ESPECIALLY during this season so use it carefully and strategically.

4. DETERMINE and communicate your GUIDING PRINCIPLES for re entry 

  1. Some Examples:
    1. The church has never closed (share highlights)
    2. We don’t want to gather physically until lit can be a great experience for EVERYONE (unique challenges of social distancing for churches)
    3. We don’t want to gather physically too soon and unnecessarily jeopardize lives or our standing within our community
  2. Determine NOW what your messaging will be going FORWARD.

5. MANAGE frustration by CASTING vision

  1. The longer COVID-19 continues the more people will get frustrated whether from a too fast or a too slow perspective.  The frustration will be real. 
  2. Now is your time to REIGNITE vision and embrace the OPPORTUNITIES. 
  3. Don’t sacrifice Reshaping for Reentry