Did Henderson and Nieuwhof Say — Blame Covid!

I never cease to be amazed at how tone-deaf Christian leaders are!  Here is ministry advice by Jeff Henderson, reposted by Carey Nieuwhof, concerning recovering the pre-pandemic volunteers of the church . . .



By Jeff  Henderson

While there’s been a lot of conversation about declining church attendance numbers (even before COVID), the more concerning number is the decline in consistent volunteers. . . .

This Summer, the focus should be on volunteer recruitment for the Fall.

To help with this, save this list and discuss it among the team.

#1 — Blame COVID, Then Cut Back.

I love the advice John Maxwell gives leaders about the pandemic. John said it’s an opportunity to try new things and if it doesn’t work, blame the virus! 🙂

This isn’t reserved for trying new things, though. It’s also for eliminating current ministries in order to shift volunteers to “essential ministries.” [1]

Sounds “upfront” and “above-board” to me!
Surely, no one would think it is duplicitous!
This approach should promote pastoral credibility!  No?

SAD “advice”!


Attention:  John Maxwell did NOT say “Blame Covid” — He did say that 2020-pandemic is an opportunity to try new things!  Henderson’s sentence falsely gives the impression that Maxwell concurred with or initiated the suggestion to blame covid.

He also said . . .

Crisis brings out the best and worst in people, says leadership expert John Maxwell, and the world-changing effects of Covid-19 have presented a proving ground to reveal who the true leaders are in workplaces across the country.

“A crisis separates the players from the pretenders,” said Maxwell, who is the author of dozens of books on leadership, the most recent of which is “Change Your World.”

Maxwell characterized the Covid-19 crisis as “a great time to find out who your leaders are, because you’ll never know who they are by what they say.” Rather, real leaders are revealed “by what they do in a very difficult time.” [2]


A better answer to the ministry volunteer shortage:

Next time, care about the people in your ministry or local church!  AND now it is time to get honest with God’s people about how you failed many families and individuals!  Forget blame-shifting as a strategy for covering up the lack of heart by the under-shepherd!  Most of God’s people would forgive that failure if there was some level of genuine honesty!

1. https://careynieuwhof.com/declining-volunteer-numbers-and-5-steps-to-reverse-it/

2. https://thebusinessjournal.com/john-maxwell-covid-a-proving-ground-to-reveal-true-business-leaders/


Note:  The second suggestion is as disingenuous as the first . . . . 

2. What Is Essential In Your Ministry?”

Granted, telling one ministry area that it’s not as essential as another is never fun. But that doesn’t make it untrue. If your church wants to be FOR the next generation, it probably can’t have a senior adult ministry. And vice-versa.

What has actually happened is that COVID has become an opportunity excuse to shut down ministries that some leaders have been wanting to shut down but could not justify, such as evening services, Sunday school, mid-week services, outreach ministries and the like!  The cover story is CVID-19!

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