The Difficulty of Leadership During the Pandemic

What a year this has been! For all of us, it has meant changes we did not expect or desire. It has thrown the church into a logistic pinball machine trying to figure to how to meet.

What’s the right answer?

For elders this time has been especially challenging. The saying, “You can’t please everyone” has never been more true. From those who feel the pandemic is a hoax or exaggerated to those who have walled up in their houses, elders have found themselves in the crossfire.

It hasn’t helped that well known pastors have pitched themselves on opposite sides of the table. Some are defiant in the face of restrictions and others follow every law to the letter. What is an elder to do?

Keeping the flock united

One of the greatest challenges elders face is keeping this pandemic from ripping apart the fellowship of believers. This requires grace, patience, and courage.

A strong emphasis on the biblical approach to unity can go a long way. One of those principles is not to follow extremes. Taking a balanced approach to this situation lessens the opportunity for extreme views to take hold and cause division.

Staying in front

Constant communication with the local church is key in keeping the unity. Silence is deadly when it comes to leadership. If the believers are confused or don’t know what is happening it opens the door to internal fighting and gossip.

Stay active in the decision-making process and communicate what the difficulties are and how you are working to solve them.

Get others involved

Include others in the discussion so that there is more of a buy-in to the process. I have been so grateful for a team of deacons and others who have played a significant role in assisting the elders with the logistics of how to proceed.

Stay positive

We all have our tendencies. We can see this as the end of the world or as an opportunity to grow the church fellowship and reach the lost. It all depends on your attitude.

Keep a positive attitude and it will go along way to helping your church get through this.

There is no one size fits all answer

Every local church leadership needs to follow what is best for their fellowship. There is no right answer that every church must conform to. This is the beauty of the church age when there is much flexibility on how to meet, when to meet, and in what situations things can change.

A note to non-leaders

Be gracious and kind to your elders as they struggle with how to lead the church forward. The pandemic is something the church has never seen before in our modern world. Give your leadership the space they need to work through all the decisions.

If they don’t get it perfect right from the start, that’s ok. It’s a work in progress. There is constantly tweaking and re-tweaking as things change rapidly. Support them, even if you don’t see things 100% the way they do.


There is much unknown ahead of us. We can only plan for what we see now and not even a month down the road. That’s a good thing. It keeps us looking to the Spirit for His leading and it prevents us from getting complacent.

Stay strong during these difficult days and remember that the Lord is still head of the church!


    1 Comment

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    Thank you for this timely, well-thought out discourse. Indeed this is not a time for complacency nor can the leaders lean on their own understanding. Let us continue to hold up the hands of our Elders in prayer and submission to the Holy Spirit.
    Jamaica, W.I.


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