Strengthening the Church During a Pandemic

Jimmy Dodd |

Unquestionably, 2020 has been the craziest year of our lifetimes. The COVID-19 pandemic, racial tensions, unprecedented political partisanship, record hurricanes and wildfires and the list goes on and on. In January, many said the murder hornets would be the big story of 2020. How I wish they had been right! 

As I detailed last month, 2020 has been a year of unparalleled opportunity for PastorServe. We are connecting with more pastors than ever before. And like you, we have learned to communicate, teach, support and lead in new ways. 

Recently, Midwest Regional Jay Fowler and several PastorServe staff led a one-day conference on conflict management. And because of COVID-19 restrictions in the community where the church is located, the conference was conducted over zoom. 

Now – if that sounds boring, you are not alone. How excruciating to sit in front of your computer screen all day and listen to someone teach on resolving conflict biblically. But – the conference was outstanding – because Jay and his team think outside – way outside the box. 

For beginners, Jay had props delivered to the home of every participant. At one point, Jay talks about how unexpressed emotions and feelings are like a submerged beach ball. We work hard to keep them down but after a while it is physically and emotionally exhausting. At that point, everyone took out their beach ball that they had received, blew it up and wrote the emotions they have been suppressing on the beach ball. It is a powerful experience exercise. 

At 10:30 there was a conference break. Unknown to this large staff, Jay had worked with volunteers from the church to deliver a special gift to each staff member at their home at precisely 10:30. The doorbell rang and there was someone from the church (masked up of course) expressing thanks to the staff member. Someone received a dozen of their favorite donuts. Someone got a flat of Mountain Dew. Someone else received their favorite adult beverage. Everyone received something they loved. 

There were no long talks during the day. The teaching came in short bite size chunks ensuring that everyone remained engaged. There were multiple speakers. There were opportunities for virtual on-line small groups to dive deeper into the material. 

The staff had been told that they would not need to worry about dinner the night of the conference. As the day came to a close there was another surprise delivered. Everyone received a Grubhub gift card for dinner that night. They could order out dinner from any restaurant. 

All in all, it was an amazing conference. It was amazing because Jay and his team thought outside the box. They created an online day that received rave reviews from the church. 2020 is challenging in so many ways. 

I will be leading a soul care conference later this week for worship leaders in South Florida. The boxes of supplies have been dropped off and we are ready to go. Because 2020 is not a normal year we can’t care for pastors in a normal way. 

Thank you for being a part of the PastorServe’s vision That No pastor would Walk Alone and our mission to Strengthen the Church by Serving Pastors. Thank you for walking alongside our team as we creatively serve pastors in 2020 – the strangest year – but a year filled with opportunity. Thank you for making this a reality!! 

Humbled at the Grace of Jesus,

Jimmy Dodd, Founder and CEO

Strengthen Your Church

Strengthening your church, for us, begins by serving you, the pastor!