Covid has brought change — tragic changes in health and employment, and inconvenient change, like mask-wearing and limits on eating out. At church we’ve dealt with change in how we worship, share communion, celebrate marriages and bury loved ones. Few of us have ever experienced anything so globally disruptive.
While we’re adjusting where we must, we’re also in a good place to see other adjustments — pivot points — that could put us in a better place for the long term. I’m looking at pivot points that have to do with serving, both for churches and for each of us individually.
Pivot at church
Are there fewer activities and fewer gatherings at your church? Some things moving to online instead of face to face? Some things on ‘pause’ for the time being? Those factors can make it a good time to look at:
- Protection Screening — Are you properly screening volunteers and staff who work with vulnerable people (children, youth, adults who are frail or developmentally disabled)? Link to resources; to my church’s practices.
- Record keeping — is there a list on your website of all the ways people can serve? Your website is your public face, and knowing that you’re a people who serve makes an impact on the public and potential members.
- New members — It’s good to let new members know the serving opportunities available in your church, but better is asking them about their abilities, interests and the causes they care about, then seriously considering how those gifts can advance your mission.
- Mission – Nothing changes our commitment to worshipping God, growing in our faith and serving others. But the specific ways we interact with the community around us can and does change, especially as the community around us changes. When did you last revisit your mission and goals? When did you last bring them to the attention of your church family?
Our Own Pivot
When we’re faced with decisions on what to do (do I take on this new task? sign the kids up for this activity?) or facing challenges in what we’re doing (being overwhelmed, confused, burned out), it helps to realize that all we do actually comes under the umbrella of serving God. God is interested in all aspects of our lives. It starts with his unconditional love, which comes with no strings attached and is not based in any way on what we do. Secure in his love, we respond to his invitation to love him and love our neighbor in return. Everything we do is covered by those two directives, and he’s promised to guide and support as we do. We’ve all got room to grow in this direction. To help us pivot, we ask ourselves questions like these:
- Have I asked God for his help with this task? Do I do so often?
- Am I using my time well? Do I have a healthy balance between work and rest, between time for self and time for others?
- Am I intentional about how I use my time, which tasks I accept and decline?
- How does what I’m doing impact me? others?
- How much of what I do is in areas of my strengths?
There are no right or wrong answers to questions like these. But as we more fully align our serving with our faith, we become more intentional, we increase our impact and we experience more joy. More on this in my next blog post.