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Hope for a Future

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Acknowledge the challenges and find hope for the future in your Church and ministry.

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Guests: Dr. Thom Rainer, founder and CEO of Church Answers and Executive Director of Revitalize Network. Dr. Rainer has served the Church as a pastor, a consultant, and an author and through his administrative roles at Southern Seminary and LifeWay Christian Resources. He regularly provides resources and encouragement for thousands of Christ Followers.

Introduction: Amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the aftermath, acknowledge the challenges and the positives. Find hope for the future of the Church and your ministry.


  • Reality of worn-out pastors in 2020 and beyond:
    • Making new large-scale decisions and its cumulative negative effect
    • Dealing with church members “taking sides”
    • Missing people—shepherding is a ministry of people!
    • Declining attendance, which is disheartening
    • Taking on new responsibilities
  • Ideas for pastors to regain the hope that led them into the ministry and to refresh themselves:
    • “Practice what you preach”—rest in the Lord, wake up in prayer, and be regularly in the Word.
    • Remember what you enjoy. You cannot, should not do it all. Find things that energize you outside of the church!
    • Avoid talk about priorities—it sets up divisions. Instead, think of family as part of your ministry—helps keep the balance.
  • Changes that are likely here to stay on the “other side” of COVID-19:
    • Smaller church membership
    • Pastors and other staff likely co-vocational
    • Less church construction
    • Church leaders will be more focused and simpler—do what really matters—leading to greater health, greater growth.
  • Finding hope amid change:
    • Early church flourished despite adversities.
    • New focus on the heart of Christ is emerging.
    • New opportunities lie ahead.
  • For those pastors ready to quit?
    • Make certain of your call, seek wisdom of others, stay in the Word of God.
    • Don’t define ministry as just a position; co-vocation has new options too.
  • God still loves you, Pastor, despite your circumstances! Embrace what you tell your congregation.
  • Pastors are not perfect and are going through difficult time. Pray for them! Encourage them!


  • Evangelism in the Early Church by Michael Green
  • com
  • The Post-Quarantine Church: Six Urgent Challenges and Opportunities That Will Determine the Future of Your Congregation by Dr. Thom Rainer

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