The covid-19 outbreak has not only placed a lot of us into our homes, it has also put us in new roles that we might not like, be equipped for, or want to do – but it is so. Many of you parents find yourselves teachers, home-schooling your kids. From what I have heard this has been a mixed bag; some finding it an exciting new role, others are lamenting, “I didn’t sign up for this!” Couples have found themselves around their “other” a lot more than they ever have, and this too seems to have brought about a mixed bag of feelings. Many workers are learning to do their jobs from home. Being away from others has been a time of great introspection and growth for some, and others are ready to bang their heads against the wall (and in some cases, their spouse has offered to help them). Yes, the Covid-19 virus has put us into positions we never signed up for.
I was feeling this a great deal once I realized that the “safer at home” order was going to go on for more than a few weeks. As a church our councils scrambled to come up with a plan so that we could stay connected with one another. We threw out idea on how to worship. People began talking about using: tele-conference calls, Zoom, Facebook, YouTube, etc. Many of the options I had never heard about, the others, though I knew “of” them I certainly had no idea “how” to use them. I’ll admit after that meeting I was feeling overwhelmed.
The following morning, at 5:00 a.m., I went outside with my dogs, so they could do their duty. As I stood there, off in the distance, I heard an owl. I’ve always found their sound unique and beautiful. As I listened to it, a thought suddenly filled my mind: “In the midst of this corona virus and all that is going on, the owl still knows it’s an owl.” As obvious as that it, it was an important breakthrough for me. God was reminding me, “In the midst of this corona virus, Dan, you need to know you’re still Dan.”
Through the hoot of the owl, God was helping me see that I couldn’t suddenly become a genius communicator using the latest technological marvels. I needed to deal with these crazy times as well as I can, with the understanding that there are significant limitations to what I can do. I need to accept that fact.
In the last two months I have figured out how to record worship services and put them on to YouTube. I have used telephone conferencing, and I have led Joint council meetings and just finished a study on Spiritual Growth, using “Zoom.” I can’t say I’m proficient at any of these technologies, but I have learned enough to use them.
These communication options will never replace my desire for in person meetings, in-house worship and community Bible studies, but under the circumstances, we as a church, are doing the best we can and I am doing the best I can. I have even come to find that through these new technologies we are reaching many individuals who can’t make it to church for one reason or another, so we plan on continuing with our YouTube services. Likewise, those involved in the Zoom Spiritual Growth study have shared how this option allows them to be a part of a study, they otherwise couldn’t attend. So, we are looking at how to incorporate this technology to expand the number involved in our studies.
When this crisis first appeared and I became overwhelmed with what we/I had to do, I remember calling up to God, “I didn’t sign up for this!” In reply, God calmed me down and told me to just do the best I could and leave the rest to Him. And from there many blessings have come.
So, don’t worry about not being an expert in any of the new roles you find yourself thrown into. Just be yourself, do your best, and trust that God will bless it richly.
~ Pastor Dan