The last three weeks in my Wednesday Enote I have been sharing learnings from two groups that met over several months during the COVID-19 season; one group made up of large church pastors, the other group a more representative group. This is the 4th segment of learnings from those meetings.

Leading from Relationships
One clear thing we have learned is how important relationships in the church are with staff, other pastors, members, attenders, anyone and everyone.  Longer term pastors have had a much smoother job in this season because they have had years to build relationships. Those pastors that moved in the middle of this season, wise ones, are spending every bit of this time building relationships, however that can be done.  Everyone, if they are wise, are doing their best to keep relationships, advance existing ones, and build new ones.  Relationships will be the key and most important thing in the “what’s next” for every church, and for the new church. 
  • Relationships with staff
  • Relationships with key leaders
  • Relationships with key influencers
  • Relationships with key givers
  • Relationships with long term members
  • Relationships with new people
  • Relationships in the community
I have long believed that building relationships is key to long-term leadership in the church.  Every minute spent doing this will pay dividends tomorrow. Every minute pastors and leaders spent building relationships in the past is a plus in this season, and every minute that was neglected churches and church leaders are paying a price and trying to play catch up.  Think how much time Jesus spent just building relationships.  He did not drop down every once in a while and preach a sermon and then disappear. He spent time with people.  It's these people who would lead the church born at Pentecost.  It will be these people who will lead the church born after COVID-19.
Leading from relationships may be the most important lesson learned in this season.

Rev. Mike Ramsdell, Executive Director
Center for Evangelism, Mission & Church Growth