FaithX Senior Missional Consultant
It’s become a regular refrain lately from my coaching clients: This just isn’t what I signed up for. I don’t recognize ministry anymore. I don’t know how to do ministry anymore. Maybe it’s just no longer my call.
The spring flush of the Covid-19 crisis has turned into the late Summer dog days of ministry. Let’s face it, back in March when we all locked down, no one believed for a minute that we would still be here. According to recent research from the Barna Group,
What Clergy Are Reporting
struggling with ministry to children and youth
struggling with a hybrid model of ministry
facing challenges to maintaining growth and momentum
fear they are nearing personal burnout
concerned that outreach efforts will be disrupted by the pandemic
concerned that fall worship will be disrupted by the pandemic
and that there is nothing they can do about it.
Barna Group (August 2020)
Certainly, this is a time of uncertainty and change. Going back to the way things used to be isn’t really an option. If you are among the 40% of churches open for worship, you know that it doesn’t look or feel the same as it did back in February. The longer this goes on, the harder it is to imagine what the future will hold for congregations, for denominations, for faithful people. It is precisely in this kind of uncertainty that we need to grow our resilience muscles.
I never thought much about resilience in my life until I was preparing for ministry. When I received the results of my required psychological exams, there was a whole section on my high level of resilience. I had sought support during my divorce. I went to counseling when faced with life’s challenges. I had a mentality of picking yourself up by your bootstraps. But, in the years since I received that report, I have, of course, faced other adversities. And in the back of my mind, this little voice reminds me that I have a high level of resilience. And another voice says, “it sure doesn’t feel like it today.”[Read more…]