Timothy Smith on How to Motivate Your Ministry Team and Staff Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic

For ministry leaders, the COVID-19 pandemic truly threw us into a whirlwind. We are tempted to give in to doubt and hopelessness, as the unknown over reopening looms over us. Perhaps overlooked during this time is the issue of keeping your team motivated and focused with all the questions about the future surrounding us.

Our motivation to lead our teams is severely challenged during uncertainty. But with my 30-plus years of leadership in non-profit and ministry work, I’m confident these four time-tested tactics and characteristics will prove to buoy ministries through these uncharted waters.

1. Demonstrate calmness and trust

Leaders must stay calm. When chaos is all around and we’re being restricted to where we can go, unanswered questions abound for those in ministry work. The worst thing you can do is make rash and frantic decisions. In the midst of crisis, make sure you’re engaging on a regular basis with the people you’re leading. Demonstrate calmness and confidence so they will follow your lead.

For instance, several teams I work with would normally be doing monthly or bi-weekly meetings, but now we’re holding weekly meetings to keep close, stay connected and build a strong support system. In addition, in some cases, we’re doing these daily “touch-base” meetings just to be consistently engaging so that we’re in front of each other and we’re working together through the crisis.

Our Premier Donor Strategies team is also helping ministry leaders connect frequently with their supporters through the Virtual Donor Experience during this difficult time.

2. Work one problem at a time

In the middle of crisis leadership, work one problem at a time. Don’t try to solve the whole crisis in one meeting. For instance, while working at a large food ministry, there were hundreds of things we had to do as an organization when a tsunami hit Indonesia. But we could only really work one thing at a time in order to be effective. In any crisis, there’s an overwhelming sense that we need to tackle and solve every problem immediately. Instead, create a systematic process of how you can address each issue, and use this strategy in more frequent meetings.

One of the most urgent issues Premier Donor Strategies recognized early on is communicating with donors about ongoing ministry work that’s still being implemented during the COVID-19 crisis.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Timothy Smith