The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically affected the lives and ministries of Christian leaders across the globe. Our recent survey asked our readers to share their reflections on leadership during and after the pandemic. While we can’t share every response, we are grateful for everyone who responded.
Q: What have you learned through this pandemic that will transform your leadership moving forward?
Responses centered around the absolute necessity of focusing on Christ, the unwavering purposes of God, and the importance of building healthy leaders. Here are some highlights:
“The pandemic helped our movement go deeper into our values. Our reliance solely on our relationship with Christ has become even more imperative. Of course, we’ve learned a great deal about adaptability and hybrid learning as well but the spiritual depths and the strength of our community seem paramount.”
“This season has taught us to be humble, helped us to look and reflect more on the Cross and its meaning, to depend more on Him and to be seeking Him to lead the way out to victory.”
“Our heavenly Father has a living, breathing plan that involves every believer. No matter what comes on the earth our Lord is NEVER taken by surprise and has ALWAYS pre-planned everything we need.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic taught us that in God’s sovereignty no adverse situation can hinder the accomplishment of HIS purposes for us.”
“I am 71 years old, from India. I myself was down with COVID-19. I dare not ask God the question why. I only kept asking Him, what was the purpose of keeping me alive? What way will you teach me today to serve you better than yesterday? For the last 35 years I served Him all by myself, but now I want to train up more leaders to serve Him by reaching unreached people. I feel now I have more responsibility than I have ever had all these long years of my life.”
Q: How might you reimagine your leadership and/or your organization in a radically-changing world?
Responses revolved around innovation, greater personal dependence on God, openness to uncertainty, and building emerging leaders.
“We are moving into a hybrid world; of course that is not really new. What is fresh, though, are the insights related to immunity to change and how we can discover new wineskins for ministry in the coming decade.”
“Leading people to take personal holiness more seriously and leading them to draw closer to Jesus through worship and prayer.”
“A more caring focus on worker’s well-being, developing resiliency by setting clear boundaries that help workers function eﬀectively in a remote environment… “I imagine our organization being more flexible to accommodate a better work and life balance.
“I must be more conscious of a changing world, the Gospel must be contextualized, and my organization must focus on training more leaders who are willing to go the extra mile.
“We must be on red alert to always embrace change. We must always depend on God even as we prepare, and we must always hear God speak. A changing world does not change an unchanging God.”
Q: What are your new goals for your growth as a leader? For your organization?
Responses were overwhelmingly weighted toward dependence on Christ and working together to build healthy leaders.
“To work together, networking with visionary leaders to produce more healthy disciples among the remaining unreached people groups.”
“I want to increase my intimacy with Jesus, to know more of Him.”
“To pray in supplication and intercession more consistently and deeply; to reach out more consistently and relevantly to the individual; and to seek opportunity more boldly.”
“Help my people to understand the present need. Train them to be Salt and Light on this earth. Help them to discover their God-given gifts and talents which are needed in the field. Equip them before sending them. Since I have been a leader for all these 38 years, now it is my responsibility to select, train and commission them to go. They are not working for me; they are answerable to God.”
“We are going deeper together and in Christ while expanding into new areas.”
Q: How will you make a plan to achieve these goals?
Responses prioritized spending deep time with God in adoration and prayer, and relational dynamics of encouragement, connection, and accountability.
“Sit with my Father, hear Him, bring my requests to Him, ask Him to give me the insight into His plan and let the peace He gives rule everything. I find it really works!”
“Dedicate more time daily to pray, study, and write. Gather people to share with them.”
“I will study further and learn from experienced leaders. I will pray and worship more and more.”
“Intentionally following a schedule and having a trusted partner keeping me accountable.”
“Placing priority on hearing God, gazing into the future by God’s help, and walking with Him. I remember Jesus saying “I do nothing unless I see the Father doing the same.” (John 12:49)”
I believe this pandemic was a wake-up call to the church to be God’s feet and hands. Let’s spread the good news!”
“The Lord is oﬀering us a season of ‘new wine.’ But will we have the ‘new wineskins’ for what He wants to pour out?”
“The body of Christ must see where we are, both in terms of Matt. 24:14 and Eph. 6:12… There is a ripeness in the times which we cannot miss.”
“Now I long to know Christ and the power shown by his resurrection: now I long to share his suﬀerings, even to die as he died, so that I may perhaps attain as he did, the resurrection from the dead.” (Philippians 3:10)