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The New Normal? But what is normal? What will it look like?
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By Barry Slauenwhite - Executive Director Christian Churches of London

Summer is here and life is still uncertain…at least the daily routine of life. We still find ourselves talking about the “new normal” as we slowly move ahead through the fog of uncertainty. May God grant us wisdom and favor as we lead our respective ministries in hopes of reaching a “post pandemic” mode.

A friend of mine in Australia has been musing with me on what this post pandemic atmosphere might look like. As we share our thoughts, frustrations and fears mixed with as much faith as we can muster up, we came up with the following thoughts. I hope they might inspire you.

In our quest to understand the future we use terms like “the other side” and “the next phase”. These seem to be the key words to refer to the time of “post pandemic” when things are returning to normal.

But what is normal? What will it look like? How, if at all, will it be different from “pre pandemic”?

For those in the church space, the question which I often hear asked is, “will the church look and operate differently on the other side. In other words, will we use technology much more than we have? Will we still run some services online? Will small groups meet physically in someone’s living room or will some remain ‘virtual’ in many peoples’ homes?

I wonder if we shouldn’t start one step back from these questions about the church of the future and rather ask, what will leadership need to look like, or more specifically require, in the future.

In our musings we suggest some key traits that leaders will require in order to flourish in the next season, knowing that disruption can happen at any time and when it does, we have to lead well.


This is a quality that we will have to have in spades. To lead “in the gray” rather than in a black and white world will be crucial. The ability to have a number of plates spinning at the same time and to be able to quickly change plates or the velocity of the spin will be essential. We are facing a health disruption right now, but let’s not kid ourselves that there will not be other disruptions of various forms.


This is a sporting concept and speaks to the ability to take the hits and come back for more. I realize this has always been a necessity for leadership in the Church and Servant Ministry but somehow, in a fast

changing world and one that can be disrupted by events, people, circumstances and certainly God at times, this is going to be a necessary trait.

Ability to Reinvent:

If you are leading now in the same way you were three years ago you are probably not at your best. The world has changed in that time as have you and the church. So, to be leading the same way, will not generally be the best version of yourself. (That is likely to be true even in the few months between pre and post lockdown.)

We will need to discern new seasons as they arrive, sometimes much more subtly than the present and adapt our leadership accordingly.


A little bit like resilience, but there is really no better way to say this than just “guts”. The ability to tough it out, to get through, to stay the course in times which are uninspiring, even tedious, and seemingly unproductive. This will help us not jump on the latest bandwagon or program formula and instead develop Godly habits as the church that can seem less than exciting.


Having sympathy for people and feeling for them is a good thing. Empathy, however, is a much richer thing. This is not just feeling for, but identifying with, people, walking to some extent in their shoes. It will be one thing to feel for someone in your congregation or organization who has lost their job due to no fault of their own, it’s another thing to identify with that person and walk with them. That is a quality many people will want /need to see in their leader.


In my last two newsletters I talked about the value of relationship. Bonding with other leaders to share best practices, pray together and challenge one another toward excellence. In a post pandemic world, leaders will gain strength from one another and forge new methods of reaching the community with the gospel.

We at CCNL are here to support and pray for you. We want to be an ear to listen and a voice of courage so don’t hesitate to connect. I’d love to have a virtual coffee with you over Zoom and share what God is doing in your life and ministry. Drop me an email at or text at 519-868-2962.

This month’s video link features one of our London network leaders David Foster and the ministry called “Loving Muslims Together”. Click HERE to access this short video.

Be of good courage. We are overcomers.

Barry Slauenwhite
Executive Director CCNL