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Pastor How (Tan Seow How)   pastorhow instagram
Pastor Lia (Cecilia Chan)   pastorlia instagram
Heart of God Church (Singapore)   pastorlia instagram
Stay connected
Pastor How (Tan Seow How)
pastorhow instagram
Pastor Lia (Cecilia Chan)
pastorlia instagram
Heart of God Church (Singapore)
hogc instagram

English | 繁體中文

Length: 2-minute read

For years Pastors have been telling me that they want to make changes in their church but faced resistance, obstacles or lethargy.
Well, make your move now before the fog of (Coronavirus) war clears.

New rules, no rules and changing rules, so write your own rules now.

Don’t miss the window to make permanent changes in a temporary situation.
You can only shape steel while it is liquid…
Shape your church and business now.
Yes. This is time sensitive.

These are strange days indeed.
Every week we have new rules—don’t travel, don’t go out.
Every week the rules are changing—don’t wear a mask, do wear a mask.
Even weirder… Apparently some rules don’t have to be followed—tenants not having to pay rent? Unheard of. Governments dishing out money? Utopia! And the most bizarre—taxes deferred or waived. Didn’t they say that there are only two things certain in life—death and taxes? 
It’s like legalized anarchy.
Only in a crisis and emergency like this can you go against conventional ideas, commercial rules, capitalistic human nature and bureaucratic red tape.

This is happening in the church world too.
Just a few months ago, you could never get away with closing Sunday services.
You could never get away with e-Easter. You would be e-stoned (a.k.a. trolled).

The list goes on: Pastors at home in PJs on Sunday mornings, Christians worshipping through their laptops, etc.
Now it’s all part of Christianity.

The point is, this evolving, unprecedented time has conditioned people for changes and new things.
Every tradition is out the window.
Every custom is down the toilet.
Abnormal is the new normal.
People are getting familiar with the unfamiliar.
So this is the best time to make changes in your church.
This is the opportunity to introduce new things to your congregation.

If you are pastoring a more traditional church…
Or leading a more entrenched congregation…
Or you are a new pastor transitioning to a church with history…
This is the moment.

Board members and elders are more malleable.
Veteran congregations are more persuadable.
Staff are more adaptable.
The voices advocating status quo are muted.

So think of some new things you can add, cut, or change in your church.

Here are some ideas. Some of these could also apply to business people and entrepreneurs, or if you are a leader in the marketplace.

In your departments and ministries…

  • Start new ministries or reinforce other departments, e.g., IT and online departments.
  • Redeploy staff/volunteers. (In my business, we did not lay off staff or cut their pay, we redeployed the employees)
  • Disband or reduce some departments/ministries.
  • Recruit new volunteers—people want to help now.
I can't code, so I'm helping our IT Department with recruitment!
I can't code, so I'm helping our IT Department with recruitment!

In your finances…

  • Re-channel the budget.
  • Get people to sign up to some form of online giving. Increase your church percentage of e-giving versus cash.

In your congregation…

  • Get people to join connect groups now. My friends, Pastors Roy and Jessica Marcellus (The Movement Church) in Sydney, grew from 30 to 65 cell groups in two weeks.
  • Encourage people to register as members of your church in order to get special access.
  • Grow your database of engaged followers for your church.
  • Get people to join a program like a Bible reading/study plan.
  • Get parents to teach their kids the Bible.
  • Change or tweak the order-of-service once in-person gatherings resume.
With everyone staying home, we launched our Christian Education online training portal.
With everyone staying home, we launched our Christian Education online training portal.

There are a million possibilities…

And here’s the best part: When things are normal again, you don’t have to go back to normal.

In my next article, I’m going to cheer on young or new pastors and entrepreneurs to flex your flexibility.


  1. Laurence Chia says:

    Your words represents what it takes to be a great leader. In the midst of such a gloomy environment, your encouraging words certainly meant alot and would lift every young men and women positive thinking to greater height. Yes, fully agree in not looking back. The new normal is an interesting path looking forward.

  2. Cherie says:

    This is incredibly written. Great food for thought! So many practical possibilities! Never would we have imagined a time like this for the churches, but yet this could be the golden hour.

  3. May Chew says:

    ” Shape steel while it is liquid…” – Love this! This article really helps me to evaluate the different areas I can apply these wisdoms and principles in my life. This is the BEST time to do anything we want to make progress continuously. True that nothing is normal nowadays. So, I told my boss and colleagues at work to try out new ideas and don’t conform to the usual methods. They agreed!! Thank you Ps How for this article!

  4. Lum Bin says:

    So much gold and nuggets of wisdom in this short read. This is indeed the best time to be flexible and change in ways where we could not. We will come out of this entire season stronger!

  5. Eunice Lim says:

    So much insights and wisdom! It is so needed in this season! Looking for opportunity in this crisis – truly taking advantage during this tougher times! It is a MUST READ!

  6. John Tan says:

    Wow! This is an article from a world class thought leader. Any pastor, businessman or leader must read this. It is true only metal is malleable while in liquid form. The world today is changing and rules are changing by the day. Our ways, thoughts and methods need to evolve. Thank you pastor for helping us see that doors which were previously closed are opening up! A must read!

  7. Wu Yun Hsiu says:

    Wow this is so mindset shifting! Definitely keeping this in mind this entire season. In fact there is no better time to make changes now, things are already bad so these changes probably can’t make anything much worse. Now is the best time to do something new, refine and implement – in church, business, school and even personal lives. I’m so grateful to be what HOGC is doing!

  8. Sabrina says:

    As I read these, it really brought so much perspective to this whole season we are in right now. Felt so challenged to grow in these areas because now we have the time to make changes and experiment and grow!! Thank you for always aligning us SP! Very thankful for these nuggets of wisdom!!

  9. Josh Tay says:

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us Pastor How!
    What an amazing perspective and article. This article doesn’t just apply to only the church but it can be applied in businesses, nonprofits and even our personal lives and families.

    It is time sensitive, (we want COVID-19 to end) but the change that we effect now can stay! “When things are normal again, you don’t have to go back to normal.” – Love this!!

  10. Kaden K. says:

    Awesome! SP, your revelations and insights are always so fresh! Being part of HOGC for a 13 years, I’ve always enjoyed and found comfort serving in the worship team ministry. This period, I literally saw how the church was redeployed and refocused. And I was recruited to serve on the social media team to create content that will Spread the Gospel, Champion Youth in Our Church and Spread the Message of a STRONG CHURCH all over the world.

    So while “rules” of the “game” has changed drastically. We now can write our own rules as a church!! I love how you ended the article. The best part, now when situation goes back to normal, the church don’t have to go back to normal. We would have grown in so many areas together in the church… By the end of this #StayHome period we would have progressed in our ministry to God, the church and the community.

  11. Pei Jun says:

    Wow! This is such a good read. There’s so much wisdom in it. Thank you for sharing, Pastor! There are indeed a million possibilities. I’m not going to be limited this season!

  12. Wei Hong says:

    So good! So glad to be able to see this happening first hand in our church.
    Challenged to think and plan for the ministry in these new ways!

    Thank you for penning down these golden nuggets of wisdom and showing us how to #LeadThroughCrisis !

  13. Faith K says:

    “When things are normal again, you don’t have to go back to normal.”

    The reason why I’m grateful to be in HOGC is that I don’t have to feed off the energy and reactions of the world but instead, I am given an alternative to live by. As a business owner, I could have been easily crippled by the measures the government put in place (yes it’s probably the wisest thing to do at this stage for the common good and they have been doing a great job thus far!) But in an individual sense, because my Pastors have taught us principles and first lived it out themselves, such as seeing the opportunities in every obstacle, going on the offensive… It acts as a compass for me to navigate by. Yes, no one can control the Covid situation (except God), but Pastors have taught us to control our response, coupled with faith, and that makes all the difference. Now, I look forward to the end of Circuit Breaker not with my fingers crossed, but with an expectancy to grow to new levels and in new areas, to strengthen my stakes! Thank you Pastor for writing all these articles just to equip us and lift our mindsets!

  14. Samantha says:

    Wow!!! Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us Pastor!! There’s so much wisdom in this and so much can be done in this season too! What mindset shift after reading it! Totally blown away!

  15. yassy. says:

    “You can only shape steel while it is liquid” — WOW! #SoTrue
    This is such a great read! We tend to look at times of uncertainty and fluidity as a negative thing. The natural tendency is to just try to stabilize but whether in ministry, business or even our personal lives these times are perfect for making the changes we need for the next season / phase post-pandemic. Thank you for writing all these articles and sharing these nuggets of wisdom. Looking forward to the future drops!

  16. Joya says:

    This article is GOLD for any pastors, leaders and businessmen looking for ways to not just survive but thrive and lead during this time of crisis! Love how mindset-shifting this is – when the world is scrambling to stay afloat, Ps How is showing us how we can turn a crisis into an opportunity! #LeadThroughCrisis

  17. Ming Rong says:

    Thank you for writing your thoughts, Pastor!
    This is so timely, and it’s brilliant advice! Instead of waiting for things to return to status quo, we can focus on efforts on moving the organisation or business forward. It’s the best time to make and bring change! I’m going to share this!!!

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