8 Things I’ve Learned While Sheltering in Place

What I’ve learned about ministry during this unique season.

I suspect that many of us are spending more time reflecting on ministry, thinking about church and considering the future than we have in some time. Here are more of the ministry-related things I’ve learned in the past weeks:

1. I don’t know enough of my neighbors. I confess we’ve gotten to know the neighbors right around us, but not far beyond those homes. Now, we see many neighbors walking past our home. We need to extend our witness.

2. I waste a lot of time trying to multitask. I’m usually working on more than one thing at the same time, but I’m realizing that this approach does weaken my concentration on any singular task. Slowing down a bit has caused me to evaluate how much I actually get done.

3. I don’t manage my time as well as I thought I did. It seems like I’m busier than ever these days, but I’ve also learned during this crisis that I can get a lot more done via wise scheduling, focused meetings and good technology. I need to maintain these habits.

4. I miss singing God’s praises with his people. I’m not a singer, so this one has surprised me. I’m looking forward to the time when we can gather again and lift our voices together in person—even if we’re singing six feet apart.

5. I sometimes rush too quickly through my Bible study. I really am quite busy these days, but I seem to have had more time to invest more deeply in my study of the Scriptures. There’s no reason why I can’t do that beyond this crisis.

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6. I miss traveling, but I’ve been reminded of my responsibility to minister at home. I’ve traveled a lot for many years, and I wondered how I’d adjust to being grounded. I’ve enjoyed being at home much more, and it’s been good to focus ministry locally.

7. I take my blessings for granted. Pam and I are still healthy. I still have a job. Sheltering in place for us means staying in a house that’s bigger than we need. We can afford to support local restaurants by getting take-out meals. We can do ministry via technology without threat of persecution. All of these blessings were in place before COVID-19—it’s just that I took them for granted.

8. What we do in ministry really does matter. We know that truth, but I’ve been reminded of it when death seems to be just hanging in the air. The words we speak lead to eternal life.

What have you been learning?

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This article originally appeared on ChuckLawless.com and is reposted here by permission.