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In the midst of coronavirus, ministry leaders have been stressed, worried and fearful. Many have stepped up across the country to continue the work of the Gospel in amazing ways. We are seeing the church transform in front of us as God continues to use His leaders for His glory.  

I thrive in structure and stability. I need systems and self-management to keep focused on the task in front of me.

In the middle of an immense amount of change, I have developed three questions that I ask myself every morning. These simply help me reset and create an action plan for the day.

Action plan is just a fancy way of saying checklist. Here are my three questions.  

1. What do they need?  

When I say, “they” I mean those who I work with in my ministry area. For you, who do you shepherd? What are the immediate needs of those you care for and minister to? This helps me filter emails, texts and messages to keep the priority on my people—those I love and have been walking with long before the crisis. We are in the business of people, and just because we can’t meet in person, doesn’t mean I can’t call, text and get creative in our care ministry.  

2. What adjustments are needed? 

As we have moved to online programming and equipping, we are in uncharted territory. No one has done church this way before. With that as well as the ever-changing updates in our country during this time, we need to be flexible. Asking this question helps keep me flexible. This question challenges my thinking of “OK, we’ve got it figured out.” It challenges me to keep thinking forward, not settling into something that may not be working.  

3. How am I doing? / How’s my family?  

I must admit, for the first two weeks I didn’t do very well with this one. I got so focused on the challenges ahead that I couldn’t turn my brain off or stop working. Part of my freedom story is breaking free from the approval of others. This question lets me pray for my wife and kids as well as work on my heart. I tell parents over and over, “You can’t pour anything into your kids that you are not pouring into yourself.” I need to remind myself of this and care for my own heart You must realize this is a marathon and not a sprint. Our hearts and homes are our first priorities, even in a pandemic crisis. 

What questions would you add to this list?  

Leaders, give yourself grace during this time. This is not just a regional change; this is a worldwide change that we are navigating together. As “the Church”, we need to link arms together so that the world will know the name of Jesus.  

If you are struggling as a leader and just need someone to talk to or vent, feel free to email me 


Bobby Cooley
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