This post about using the pandemic as an excuse to procrastinate is written by Mary Frances, Senior Associate Consultant at the FaithX Project.
At the end of the year, I hear a common refrain from my clients: That’ll have to wait until the new year. It’s a variation on a theme that we are all too familiar with. I’ll start my diet right after the holidays. I’ll start my new exercise routine in January. I’ll deal with that problem tomorrow. Kids love to use it as a way to procrastinate. I’ll do my homework after this show. I’ll do the dishes after this game. Later, tomorrow, after…waiting. Over the course of the last year there is a new variation on this theme: after the pandemic. We will deal with outreach after the pandemic. We will get to know our community more deeply…. after the pandemic. We will talk about stewardship, formation, new worship formats, you name it, it can all be done after the pandemic.
After the pandemic really was an appropriate response a year ago, when everything was a mad scramble to get online and make radical changes in the blink of an eye. Funny thing about this pandemic though, it didn’t just go away; it’s still here….and we don’t know how much longer it will be around, how much longer it will impact our ministries, how much more change it will require of us. It’s still here. Sure, there are vaccines, but there are also variants. Every time we think there is light at the end of the tunnel, someone comes along to tell us the tunnel is longer than we thought. This is no time to procrastinate.
So, how much longer can we say after the pandemic without admitting it’s just a form of procrastination and avoidance? What if, instead of after the pandemic, we started to ask: What can we do now? What is God asking of us today? How can we connect with our members, visitors and community more deeply than ever before? What is ONE thing we can do now that we couldn’t do before? What is ONE thing that just can’t wait until after the pandemic?
The answers to those questions will be different for everyone, for every congregation, for every ministry. The outcome, however, will be the same: action! There is too much work to be done for the sake of the Kingdom and we can’t afford to procrastinate and see how things turn out.
Once you move beyond when to start, you might be wondering how to start. You might check out the impact of Covid-19 on your community through the FaithX Coronavirus Impact Planning Report. You might start to schedule walking meetings with community leaders or neighbors or plan some Zoom one-to-ones with people you really want to know. It doesn’t matter so much where you start, it matters that you do!