“Any church that reflects on their experience during COVID cannot be the same afterwards” Jason Lane, International Director, Innovista
“This process has helped us come up with ideas that would normally take ages…weeks” Seamus Kerr, Liffey Valley Vineyard
Processing the Pandemic
We ran the workshop “What just happened and what’s next?” in our church in September 2020. It’s aimed at a leadership team but we’re a small church plant and decided to invite everyone, including some new members, which worked out really well. Questions like ‘What did you stop, adapt and start?’ helped us to get an overall picture of the impact that the pandemic was having both in our personal lives and as a church. People really appreciated being heard and becoming aware of each other’s perspectives. From there we looked at our vision and evaluated how we were doing. It was so encouraging to do this together and created real ownership, especially with the new people. It brought an openness and energy to the next part of the workshop where we looked at how we could reshape, in order to move forward in this difficult season. The amount of strategic thinking we did as a group in that short time was astonishing. By the end of the evening the creative juices were really flowing as we did some ‘new ideas’ brainstorming.
The impact of this workshop has surprised me. We hoped it would help people process some of the changes we had to make because of Covid-19 and that it would help us discern what people needed next as we headed into the autumn and winter restrictions. It has triggered so much more. The work we did together that evening, on how to reshape going forward, has become like a strategy blueprint that we keep referring back to. The level of connection with one another, the family feel, has strengthened. The ownership of the vision and momentum has increased significantly. I’m trying to put my finger on exactly what it was…and bottle it!
An Opportunity to Refocus
In an environment of crisis and change, refocusing on your vision and working with your team to determine how to move forward creates unity and a sense of focus and purpose. It’s both pastoral and envisioning. This workshop provides a space for the team to acknowledge and explore together some of the impacts of the pandemic. A space where they feel heard and can hear each other’s experience and perspective. Discussing it in this kind of environment helps the team move through a process of acknowledging the impact and then working together on the next steps.
Written by Ann Marie Kerr
“As a leader I found it really helpful having Innovista facilitate the workshop. It allowed all of us to give opinions more freely.” Seamus Kerr, Liffey Valley Vineyard
“The opportunity to reflect on what has happened over the past year and to seek to identify the positives was really helpful. Sharing time together online when we are physically spread around the island was of huge benefit and the whole process provided the energy to look for further opportunities to support one another.” Steve Gresham, CIYD