“I am anxious about what the church may look like in the next few months. I am constantly preoccupied and thinking about what we need to do. This often leads me to feel overwhelmed and inadequate, as I try to anticipate what we need to be doing next.”
When the strain is greatest, let’s continue to forge ahead with creative resilience.
If you are you struggling to make decisions about policy and how to communicate those decisions to your church during this chaotic time, you are not alone. In this new normal of remote church, much consumes our day-to-day activities. It is difficult to plan and communicate future steps.
“The thwarting of strategy is an invitation for God to do a deeper work of character.”
Given that local relationships will drive much of the local response, the following examples help address a couple of immediate needs faced by clergy and congregational members: church Coronavirus communication and communicating with vulnerable populations with proactive hospitality.
It may seem counter-intuitive to consider church history in any discussion of outbreak, pandemic, or plague; we live in an era of hazmat suits, microbiology, and gallons of gelatinous hand sanitizer. But while our approach to disease containment and pathology is far different than you would find in rural Germany in the 1500’s, there is profound wisdom and perspective in reflecting on the posture of faith communities in our past.
The folks at Waffle House have a whole system for keeping restaurants open in a storm. They know how to do natural disasters. We need to be a “Waffle House church,” first offering people the body and blood of Jesus Christ, then offering a full menu of the faith even in the midst the storm.
Chaotic change is an uninvited guest. Like an unplanned extra person at an already too-small table, everything seems forced. Decisions have to be made before their time. People have to make room, take on new roles, or change habits even while leading.
When you make resolutions about your life , remember: you are your brother’s keeper; you are your sister’s keeper. You’re a watchman. And where God has placed you, God has placed you on purpose. Watchmen stand in the middle to communicate, to see, to defend. An intercessor stands in the middle on behalf of somebody else.
These references in Romans to love, to humble, faithful service, and to peaceful actions even toward our enemies indicate that the Christian calling is certainly a high one. Yet in the mystery of grace, this life of graciousness is the one that God has called us to live. Jesus reminds us that what is impossible for us is possible with God.