How do we minster effectively during the coronavirus crisis?
The world has been turned on end, or so it seems. And how we minister to the people in our care—the people we used to see every week in person—has been flipped on its head, too. How do we minister effectively in these uncharted waters of a pandemic?
Know this: Your ministry is only as strong as you are. And if your honest, you might confess that you’re feeling every bit as feeble, weak, and anxious as your parishioners.
Good. That’s where true strength is discovered.
Why? Because, like so many of the teachings from Jesus, finding abiding strength is counterintuitive—we find strength in weakness (2 Cor. 12:9). How? By drilling down on three counterintuitive principles:
1. Find Strength in Clearing Your Head.
We’ve all heard about the undeniable power of our attitudes. But we propose a new way of drawing strength from your mind. It has to do with simplicity. In times of crisis, we often make life more complicated than it needs to be. Cluttered thinking makes us scattered and exhausted. During this time of COVID-19, travel light, clear your head, and in turn, find a fresh resolve and a new tenacity to marshal on.
2. Find Strength in Owning Your Weakness.
We realize this goes against common knowledge when you’re trying to be in-control. But that’s the point. Authentic strength that comes from the inside out. It’s not about building a strong façade. And that’s why vulnerability is instrumental in finding the emotional power from your heart. Vulnerability begets vulnerability. It’s builds connection and camaraderie.
3. Find Strength in Surrender.
The ultimate source of strength resides deep in your soul. For it is there that a sacred secret resides. What is it? To empty yourself of your striving for strength. Sure, it sounds incongruent, maybe even absurd. But this deeply spiritual surrender, is the only means to finding the abiding strength your soul desires. And it’s in your soul that you will discover a new boldness that will likely surprise you. “Boldness,” says German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, “has genius and power and magic in it.” It is in your soul that your faith, no matter how feeble, can conjure up courage. It is in your soul that you will discover a power greater than you imagined.
We’ll get through this pandemic with grace and strength when we summon the strength we didn’t know you had. Don’t allow this strange season to simply become a series of days stacked upon other days as you wait for the world to normalize. You can cope more effectively and minister with more empathy when you do so with a clear head, a vulnerable heart and a boldness that comes through surrender.