Reset, Renew, and Revive Your Church in the New Year
After a successful holiday season, full of worship and celebration, everyone in the life of the Church is understandably a bit tired. Everyone from the staff and volunteers, to lifelong members and occasional guests need a moment to recharge their batteries.
Unfortunately, this leads to a drop in attendance, engagement, and giving that church leaders are all too familiar with—even if they understand everyone’s need for a breather. But instead of accepting this annual trend as inevitable, leaders should turn it into an opportunity.
In the window between Christmas and Easter, your mindset and approach to building His Kingdom should evolve month-by-month.
Grounded in empathy and diligence, these three phases are sure to help get 2024 off to a good start.
First and foremost—breathe.
Take the early weeks of January to give grace to yourself, and to everyone around you. It’s no secret that the congregation is going to need some space, but pastors and staff are seemingly hardwired to never rest. It comes from being a servant leader, which is an amazing mindset, but can also lead to major burnout.
Your church is better and stronger when you can fully engage, so you’re genuinely doing your community a favor by resetting. And you can and should encourage and lead those you serve to also reset.
Showcase empathy by understanding that a reset will look different for everyone.
Some simply need a reminder to be honest with themselves about their feelings and energy levels, while others should be shown patience as they take a step back to reinvigorate their passion for the ministry.
There’s an added benefit of a reset phase: it gives you the space to reflect on and analyze your past year. Take a look back at your church data and figure out what’s working, what’s not—and start imagining what changes you can make in the coming months.
It’s time for you and your community to settle back into the rhythm of your normal ministry. Hopefully the reflection of the reset phase has sparked some enthusiasm and new ideas for upcoming months, especially now that Easter’s just around the corner.
As you’re experimenting with new practices to build engagement and generosity, this is also the best timeframe for researching the tools that can take your mission to new heights. Armed with your data and vision for the future, look into the latest technology solutions custom-built for churches, and see how they might address the pain points you’ve already identified.
Reading online reviews and platform specifications is a great start, but don’t be afraid to reach out to potential tech providers with questions. Your ministry has unique needs and wants, and the solutions should be tailored to the issues you’re facing.
By now, your church life is definitely back in full-swing. Your four walls are full, and congregants are more enthusiastic than they have been in a long while—courtesy of Easter excitement, of course, but also thanks to the new ideas and practices you instituted during the renew phase.
Every leader knows how important it is to take advantage of the weeks before Easter, on so many levels: it’s a peak point for donations, more visitors are coming through the doors, and members are willing to stretch their legs and come deeper into the life of your church.
All that revival engagement also means it’s the best possible time to introduce new technology to your congregation.
You’ve done your due diligence into tech, made a decision, then implemented it with your staff and the assistance of your new digital provider. While the community’s engagement is high, you should be ready to communicate how they can interact with the new tech—app downloads by QR codes posted around the church are a big help here!—as well as explaining why your leadership decided to make these changes, and how it’s going to usher in a new era of community, connection, and belonging in your ministry.
Wondering what strategies could help you prevent that post-Christmas burnout? Pushpay recently sat down with pastor and author Glenn Packiam and discussed his proven strategies for keeping your people engaged, motivated, and passionate about their ministerial work.