October Staff Pick

The Post-Quarantine Church: Six Urgent Challenges and Opportunities That Will Determine the Future of Your Congregation

By Thom S. Rainer


While most of us were still in shock facing the realization that fall church programming was not going to happen in the usual fashion, Thom S. Rainer published a book. It’s a little book, 5” X 7” with just 128 pages. It’s not hard to move from start to finish because of the layout and size but it’s not an easy read because it’s honest. Reading might even hurt a bit but in the end that‘s a good thing.

Rainer leads his own church consulting business and has written many books. “The Post Quarantine Church: Six Urgent Challenges + Opportunities” was written early in the pandemic (publication date September 2020). With each chapter Rainer lays out the challenge and offers “Three Thoughts” for your consideration. The “Three Thoughts” provides a place to start conversation with the Congregational Council and other leadership teams. This would be an excellent book for an all congregation read.

Rainer’s six chapters:

  1. Gather Differently and Better
  2. Seize Your Opportunity to Research the Digital World
  3. Reconnect with the Community Near Your Church
  4. Take Prayer to a New and Powerful Level
  5. Rethink Your Facilities for Emerging Opportunities
  6. Make Lasting Changes That Will Make a Difference

What I loved most about the book is Rainer’s “Nine Key Changes for the Post-Quarantine Church” section. With all the talk about adaptive challenges, creative change and entering a new era it is easy to get lost and stay stuck. Having a list provides focus. We all know the bottom line is we can’t do things the way we’ve always done them. We are navigating unchartered waters. Most of us have been trained to lead with a solid understanding of the plan. Leading with a lot of uncertainty is not comfortable, the norm or easily achievable. God’s wisdom and faithfulness is certain. As we move forward, we need to listen the Holy Spirit, ground ourselves in hope and be willing to experiment and take healthy risks.

Rainer’s simple advice, “Be excited and encouraged”. He invites us to “enter this new land of possibilities with hope, promise and enthusiasm.”

Bishop Brian Maas will be facilitating a conversation based on the book at RE: Formation – Nebraska Synod’s Leadership Summit. Advanced reading of the book is not required but is encouraged.


Review Provided By: Deacon Sunni Richardson