Optimists learn about churches

St. Andrews Optimists have resumed meetings, albeit with social distancing activated. These meetings are conducted at the new Town of Irmo Park, where distancing is made easy. The first speaker for the resumption was Rev. Mark Tidsworth, President of Pinnacle Leadership Associates. Tidsworth lives in Chapin and leads an organization that seeks to help churches in assessing their current statuses versus what Tidsworth calls as a changing spiritual landscape. At one time or another, and sometimes concurrently, he has filled the roles of coach, trainer, author, consultant, pastor, and therapist.

 His talk with the Optimists, which was very interactive, focused on trends he is seeing in the ways Churches minister to their congregations, given the necessary distancing which for the most part prevents large groups meeting in-person. Being somewhat of a church futurist, he tries to forecast what’s next for Churches.

One area he expressed concern about is churches’ snapping back, i.e., once the pandemic is over , going back to exactly the way churches were doing things before. He said that it would be a huge loss not to plug in the key learnings churches have gained during the ZOOM-enabled ways of communicating. So his emphasis right now is twofold: that of encouraging churches to hang in there, and to take a close look at what they have learned during this period.

In more normal times Tidsworth leads workshops, clergy collectives, and does some preaching along the way. He travels nationwide in the process.

Pictured are (L-R) Optimist President Jay Downs, speaker host Rick Abecrombie, and Rev. Mark Tidsworth, President of Pinnacle Leadership Associates, who received a copy of the Optimist Creed.