During the last four weeks, I’ve had the honor and privilege to attend just about all of our Zoom charge conferences (only missed two – sorry!); and I want to share some of the highlights I heard during our time of conferencing and what was covered during your ‘State of the Church’ and ‘Pastor(s)’ Reports.
- All of our Alexandria District churches reported on a fall and winter of great expectations to increase the kingdom through strategic planning, focused initiatives, and a variety of new or revamped ministries.
- But then mid-March came, and all of our churches ‘pivoted’ to a variety of on-line platforms – thanks to clergy, church staff and laity leadership.
- We started using new terminology such as: Digital Evangelism, Social and Racial Justice, Distribution Intermediaries and Hybrid Ministry.
- More people were “attending” by virtue of technology (new people, shut-ins, and former members); and most of our churches became multi-site with a brick and mortar presence and an on-line presence.
- Over 900 individuals and/or family units participated in our charge conferences and we recertified 55+ Lay Servants/Lay Speakers.
So, my question is, “It doesn’t make sense, or does it?” In the midst of a worldwide pandemic, when we should be drawing ourselves in and not worrying about others, how can we explain what is happening with our churches and ministries? I believe it’s all about the following:
- God is on the move … God pushed us out of our comfort zones to “see” those in need of food, social justice, personal contact and healing.
- We’ve prayed and God has shown us how to be resilient … a marathon of services are being offered, attitudes are being reshaped, daily Facebook devotions are the norm, and virtual VBS and church Homecomings are real.
- We’ve prayed and God responded saying be adaptable … instead of blessing the backpacks – bless the Chromebooks, remember phone trees – do those again to check-in on others, and keep distributing food and supplies – but do it with dignity and maybe privately.
I guess it does make sense!