4 Ways to Help Navigate Tensions in Your Church

The world seems to be in a season of perpetual uncertainty. We set our hopes on established timelines and realign our expectations, only to realize they suddenly change at the last moment. Nothing seems certain and the information we need to make decisions feels fluid.

We’re also, as a nation, in the midst of wrestling through huge social issues that impact all of us. Couple that with the overwhelming messages we receive daily during an election year. It’s just a lot. 

This leads to an underlying tension that now fills our lives. 

Some of us deal with this by tuning into the constant influx of information through the news, social media, and friends. While others tune out by numbing ourselves through many different outlets, some healthy and some not.

This tension crosses over to and seeps into our faith communities. Whether your congregation is meeting in-person or virtually, we’re all dealing with this tension.

So how do we lead well in this season and help our faith community navigate these tensions?

  1. Maintain Perspective – Although this season feels like it’s dragged on forever, history shows that things will change. We’ll find our “new normal” and the world will eventually begin to feel stable again. As a human race, we’re pretty resilient and it’ll take some time, but we will adjust. This isn’t forever. It won’t always feel this hard and we need to remind each other of this daily.
  2. Listen Well – There are times when each of us will need to lament. We need to be able to express that this is not okay and we do not like what is happening. We miss our old lives and the way things used to be. It’s okay and necessary to say that out loud.
  3. Lead with the “Why” – We need to be led right now. We need to be reminded and remind each other of our “why”. Why is it going to be okay? Because God is not surprised by what’s happening, and He is still in control. We serve a God that has our best in mind. There is purpose in our pain, and He doesn’t make mistakes. This is who we serve and are loved by. Spending time in our community helps us manage this season with joy and peace instead of anxiety and fear. 
  4. Communicate Clearly – Make sure your leaders are speaking to your faith community as a whole, often and with clarity. Again, we need to be led right now. We need constant reminders that we will get through this and we are not alone. Communicate the truths we can rely on as well as the details that provide community. When can we safely come together corporately? What opportunities do we have for prayer, worship, and Bible study? 

Although there is a lot of noise right now in our lives that can lead to distraction and confusion, make sure your church can hear your voice loud and clear. Create many opportunities for your congregation to tune into what you and your leadership are saying and keep pointing your people back to what is true. 

There will always be tension in our lives and therefore in our church. It’s up to us though, to help our faith community manage that tension. It can shake us up and cause isolation or it can be used to strengthen our individual faith and our community.

Use this time to wisely and proactively help your church become stronger as you navigate this time of unprecedented tension.


Read More:

HOW TO TALK ABOUT TOUGH ISSUES IN 3 (KIND OF) EASY STEPS

WAYS THE CHURCH HAS CHANGED FROM THE CORONAVIRUS

S.O.A.P. JOURNALING AND YOUR CHURCH

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