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Navigating Church REBOOT: Lead Pastor Panel

Navigating Church REBOOT: Lead Pastor Panel

By Scott Smith
WEEKLY SERIES! Join Tim Dowdy (Eagles Landing Church, McDonough GA) and Scott N. Smith as they facilitate an evolving discussion on how to reopen ministries and large gatherings as we exit the pandemic. Panelists: Jason Britt (Bethlehem Church GA), Joel Southerland (Peavine Baptist, Rock Spring GA), Stephen Dervan (Oak Hill Williamson GA), Jeremy Morton (FBC Woodstock GA) and special guests. The goal is to help your church, regardless of size or region, with navigating your re-opening wisely and effectively.
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Navigating Church Reboot: Session 16
In this session we discussed how to re-engage the disengaged. Each of the guys are handling this differently, and each some unique wisdom on the matter to share on what they're doing to reconnect folks. Tanaya shared some great perspective on COVID data in Georgia that matters right now. Very encouraging! Various other matters touched on: small groups and Sunday school regathering, children, emphasis, looking ahead to the holiday season services. Don't forget to check the chat log >> VIDEO version plus all archives are located at
September 25, 2020
Navigating Church Reboot: Session 15
Another incredible call with our panelists and special guests.  - "Have you hit the wall?" assessment. (LINK) This great, free, anonymous resource was covered Tanaya Meaders. Take the assessment... it's short and might surprise you.  Also see  Tanaya is here in Pastor Wellness to serve you. Contact her at wellness [at] - Bernard Miller North Griffin Community Church & Statewide AMS for black Georgia Baptist Churches across the state. He talked about how he's working to "keep the main thing the main thing" throughout the pandemic and focusing on the gospel in the midst of tough issues of our times. - The panel talked about plans for fall preaching and Jason Britt shared his calendar and how he schedules annually.  Two related resources: SCOTT SMITH EVANGELISM INTERVIEWS: Jason Britt on Invitations, Calendaring, Intentionality and Otherwise Local Church Evangelism Jason's 2020 Calendar - We also talked about baptism protocols in light of COVID19. This was a RICH call with tons of insights and practical ideas. Check out Joel's Evangelism Podcast... THE Evangelism Podcast!
August 29, 2020
Navigating Church Reboot: Session 14
"The best session yet!" - Randy. This really was a great session that could be themed: LEADERSHIP. Lots of great insight about leading well, making the most of the uniqueness of this time, how to refuel and stay charged. Tanaya Meaders joined us again to talk best practices and medical. Jason Britt shared a fantastic link related to stats and facts vs. public perceptions: Great interaction in the chat as well. Lots of insight and encouragement! Chat Log >>
August 21, 2020
Navigating Church Reboot: Session 13
In this session we heard from Steven Dervin about his bout with the coronavirus.  We also talked about the impact COVID has had on ministry and life routines for the pastor. Also discussed was how to counter the pressures of the pandemic.  Chat Log >>
August 13, 2020
Navigating Church Reboot: Session 12
Lots covered on this call. Brad Hughes from Gov Kemp's office joined us to talk about restrictions. A big implication was discussed around "what if one kid gets sick with COVID" that was a bit surprising. Overall our leaders offered great suggestions about kids ministry and more. Tanaya Meaders joined us to talk about the health and medical side and GBMB resources for that. Steven Dervin, a regular panelist has COVID along with his son who also tested positive. Several takeaways. CHAT LOG here >>
August 6, 2020
Navigating Church Reboot: Session 11
A great call! After a one month hiatus, our panel regathered for a very interesting conversation. "Last week I was ready to give up" one of our panelists said. Real and raw, our guys talked about the exhausting pressure of pastoring during the pandemic and what they are doing to replenish spiritually and in every other way. This was a powerful call with lots of interaction.  Download the CHAT LOG here >> 
July 31, 2020
Navigating Church Reboot: Session 10
In Session 10 we covered not only "nuts and bolts" of regathering but leadership principles as well. This was a rich call, in spite of the fact that our panel was smaller.  We covered the SPIKE in cases and how it is affecting our churches (it's really bad right now in Joel's area of NW Georgia). We got updates on childcare during services. We also discussed online ministry going forward, getting the money for upgrading tech for streaming and how to pitch it to your congregation as a valid perpetual ministry worth investing in. See the chat roll below as attendees dropped alot of suggestions for tech to purchase on a budget. There was a great discussion about what our panelists LEARNED ABOUT LEADING during COVID-19 that was worth the entire call today! In a final "lightning round" we talked about bathroom protocols and when to start groups back on campus. Chat Log (PDF)
June 25, 2020
Navigating Church Reboot: Session 9
In Session 9 we heard from Brad Hughes at the Governor's office about how churches need to think about guidelines upon regathering. Quite a humorous story from Jeremy Morton (First Woodstock) led to a discussion about security and specific issues that may arise in the "new normal" that may affect safety. We also heard from our panelists about their regathering experiences from last Sunday. We welcomed Tyrone Barnette as special guest and got his update from Peace Baptist. Chat Log
June 20, 2020
Navigating Church Reboot: Session 8
In session 8, we discussed results from surveys as well as actual attempts at regathering. Also we touched on children's ministries' timelines as well as how several panelists' churches will be regathering over the next couple of weeks and what they are building into those services for optimal excitement to be back. We also discussed hispanic churches and their approach. Liability was brought up and one panelist already had a case of COVID-19 in one of their groups. Fantastic webinar with some good reports coming through the chat box. Chat Log
June 13, 2020
Navigating REBOOT: Promo Materials for Regathering
Scott Smith speaks with Jason Daye about solutions for promoting your regathering through multiple modalities. Go to and click OTHER TOOLS top.
June 10, 2020
Navigating Church Reboot: Session 7
In session 7, we discussed updates to regathering plans of our panelists, best practices, as well as the experiences of our regathering attendees of late as indicated in the comments box. We also discussed how our panelists are handling the recent societal unrest in the wake of George Floyd's death. We ended session 7 with a prayer for our nation. Links: Chat Box log (PDF) Last update from Gov. Kemp  Sanitization Kits from
June 6, 2020
You've Been Pre-Recording Services... Now What?
Special Edition of REBOOT. What do you do if you've been pre-recording services and now you're regathering on Sundays? Join Scott N. Smith and Jon Graham as they give you ideas for a smooth transition.
May 28, 2020
Navigating Church Reboot: Session 6
In session 6, we discussed new and changing plans of our panelists, along with Peavine Baptist's survey results. We discussed what to expect when regathering, and how leaders set expectations ahead of time. The importance of prayer and the work of the Holy Spirit in regathering. We covered some ideas about masks, choirs and distancing in the building.  We also discussed how to begin to think about budgeting into the fall and 2021. 
May 28, 2020
Navigating Church Reboot: Session 5
In session 5, the panel was joined by special guest Brooks Cail (FBC of the Islands near Savannah). We discussed new developments and looked at the actual reboot plans of Bethlehem Church and FBC Woodstock. (Links and Resources below, feel free to copy and use!). We also answered questions about leadership, timing, cleaning protocols and more. LINKS: Bethlehem (Britt) Comeback Mailer (PDF) Bethlehem Communication Plan (Editable .docx) Bethlehem Single Page Flyer (PDF) FBC Woodstock (Morton) Regathering Plan
May 21, 2020
Navigating Church Reboot: Music and Worship Panel
Panel discussion about the implications and role of Music & Worship upon regathering with: Dr. Will Whittaker, Minister of Music, Ivy Creek Baptist Church, Buford, Will has served at Ivy Creek for 7 ½ years Adam Howard, Worship Pastor, FBC of the Islands, Savannah, Adam has served at FBC of the Islands for 4 years. Dr. Steve White, Executive Pastor, Warren Baptist Church, Augusta, Steve has served at Warren Baptist Church for 11 years. Barry Cook,Minister of Music & Worship, FBC, Tifton, Barry has served at FBC Tifton for 2 ½ years. Cliff Duren, Worship Pastor, FBC, Woodstock, Cliff has served at FBC Woodstock for 1 year. Also Tom Duvall, Tanaya G Meaders, and Dr. Cliff Hastings Facilitated by Dr. Jon Duncan, Catalyst, Worship and Music Ministry, GBMB
May 21, 2020
Navigating Church Reboot: Session 4
In session 4, the panel was joined by special guest Chad Ellis (Gillionville Baptist, Albany). We discussed dealing with internal stress and discouragement as pastors. We also discussed how plans (and expectations) are changing, risks of returning too soon, and the relevance of plans for small churches. Great call! LINKS: Kemp gives updates including child care and summer camps 12 small church guidelines for gathering again
May 21, 2020
Navigating Church Reboot: Session 3
In session 3, the panel was joined by Tyrone Barnette, pastor of Peace Baptist Church, Decatur. We discussed new developments, new reopening target dates as well as being prepared as pastors and leaders. Also reviewed the specifics of recently published timelines by smaller and more rural churches having a multi-phase reopening starting this weekend. Links: Trinity Baptist Church (See COVID19 > “Game Plan) Atco Baptist Cartersville Plan (PNG) Johnson Ferry Regathering Infographic (PDF)
May 7, 2020
Navigating Church Reboot: Session 2
In Session 2 of our series, our panelists give updates on what’s changed since last week, how the conversation is headed with their churches, and leadership principles that are influencing timelines for reopening. Jason Britt shares a “Wisdom Triangle” that relates to COVID19 reopening along with a survey he’ll use for his church.
April 30, 2020
Navigating Church Reboot: Session 1
In Session 1 of our series our panelists discuss how they’ve been ministering during COVID19, the internal conversations they are having with their leaders about how to “come back” to church, what they are saying to their church since the Governor’s announcement, and the factors they are considering in their re-opening timeline. They discuss principles and considerations that should apply to any size church, as well as a smaller church approach.
April 23, 2020