Ministry friends, it would be insensitive to not acknowledge the current state of the world and the immediate challenge facing us due to COVID-19.
How do we continue to reach students and families while we are physically separated? At Lifeway Students, we are trying to answer that question with and for you. In the coming days, we will be releasing free digital resources that you can share with families in an effort to invest in family discipleship.
For today, I want to leave you with some words from Zac, and I hope they bring you a bit of hope in uncertain times. –Ben
The year 2000 seems like a long time ago. On the edge of overcoming a millennium scare about computers, a little-known British band wrote a song that would quell the fears of a young generation unsure what a new 1,000 years would bring.
Bones sinking like stones
All that we’ve fought for
Homes, places we’ve grown
All of us are done for
And while we weren’t done for, we felt like maybe we could be.
The year 2020 has started unlike we thought it would. In the midst of media polarization and social media divisiveness, the world is now rocked by a feeling of dread that cannot be politicized or unsubscribed from.
So we look for wisdom.
Over the last few days, here are wise words I’ve overheard that have proven comforting:
This is not a storm, it’s a season. Fundamentally this is why I think we are all feeling afraid. We have taken days off for an ice storm before, but this may last more than a few nights. This is going to at least affect the ways we do ministry for eight weeks or longer.
We don’t know, and that’s okay. If there is anything we’ve seen play out recently, it’s that information is constantly updating. Be wise. We don’t know, so don’t offer second-hand knowledge or spread misinformation. Offer care, and remind people of the simple truth.
Panic begets panic. Embody patience. Do you know when I feel most worried? When I let the panic of other people affect me. Do you know why people are buying up all the world’s toilet paper? Because someone else made them feel afraid.
Let people feel your patience, not your panic. Don’t be artificial. We all have big questions, we’re all feeling short on bravery, but offer your presence to others out of patience, not fear.
Courage is grace under pressure. It takes a deep reserve of character to name our fears and to face them. It is taxing on our ability to be kind, but there is good news. We are the most creative and most communal when we are courageous together.
Care for your own soul first. It is hard to care for others when you are frazzled and exhausted. You don’t need to have it all figured out in this tumultuous season, but you do need to make time to find fullness in order to lead from a centered and calm self. If you are spun by all the news, information, and endless suggestions from your social media feed, then pause. Silence and space are gifts you first give to yourself. Start your morning and end your day with some quiet, some prayer, and some self-care.
The word ‘community’ is getting a fresh look. We have all the community-making tools, and we’ve had them for some time. Now we get the chance to really use them. FaceTime your grandma, start a group text with your office staff and share jokes as if you were in the same room, record a fun video, ask questions on Instagram, document your experience in video or written form.
There’s nothing here to run from
Everybody here’s got somebody to lean on
Peace & Prayers
This post was written by Zac Workun. Zac serves as the Student Ministry Training Specialist for Lifeway and is one of the co-founders of Youth Ministry Booster, Lifeway Students’ collaboration and training network. He has served the local church in various youth ministry roles for over 15 years.