We have officially been in this remote mode of doing church for seven months. When you stop and think about it, that’s the amount of time for a baby to enter into the third trimester, or twice as long as the College Football season.
Experts say that it takes 66 days to form a habit and only two days to break it. Since the middle of March, we have had many opportunities to both form and break a lot of habits. At a distance, our faith community members and friends, we have decided on whether or not we have participated in virtual and partial in-person worship, spiritual formation, community, and ministry.
I think we would be naïve in believing that some switch can be flipped, and all of a sudden, everyone will return to participating at the same capacity they were pre-COVID, initiatives will pick back up where they left off, and everything will go back to the way it was. These can either be immobilizing or energizing facts. What we have to decide is how we will lead in this new reality.
In Ronald Heifetz's book, The Practice of Adaptive Leadership, he writes, “The improvisational ability to lead adaptively relies on responding to the present situation rather than importing the past into the present and laying it on the current situation like an imperfect template.”
I think we would be equally naïve if we believed that this moment requires some deeply profound and well-planned initiative that will turn the faith community's tide of engagement.
Instead, I invite you to consider if all that this moment requires is our active participation and personal invitation.
I invite you to show up, online and in-person, when it is safe, participating in the intentional opportunities created to foster relational connections, spiritual formation, and outreach.
I invite you to text, email, and call those in your sphere of influence and those who slip through the cracks, asking them to participate with you in the intentional opportunities created to foster relational connection, spiritual formation, and outreach.
Our willingness to show up (online and in-person, when it is safe) and personally invite others to do the same will make or break this moment.