It’s all too easy to focus on the negatives when life gets a little tough. So, this week I’ve been writing a list of all the positives about ministering online during the lock down. Here are my top ten:
10. More time at home to catch up on paperwork. More time in the office is an opportunity to catch up on all those admin jobs that get pushed to one side in the usual busyness of life.
9. More time with the family. Working from home means I see my family more. They also get to see and understand my ministry much more as they see everything I do, either at home or online. My dog also loves me being at home!
8. Learning new skills. I’ve learnt how to stream live services, how to hold meetings via Zoom, and how to design services that work online. Every day is a new learning opportunity.
7. Reaching more people. Our live streamed services are reaching many more people than our usual services. Some viewers are regular congregation members (including some who can’t usually join us due to health or caring responsibilities), others are joining for the first time. The church building is closed but the church is very much alive!
6. Time to reflect on ministry. I’ve learnt a lot about myself and my own ministry during the lockdown. I’ve had the chance to explore new ways of ministering and time to reflect on what sort of ministry God may be calling me to. As a church, we’ve been able to try new services like 9.00pm Compline, 5.00pm Storytime and 1.00pm Virtual Messy Church – all of which have proved very popular.
5. Contributing to the environment. Less travel means less pollution, so I’m contributing to helping our planet breathe again.
4. Seeing our church come together. Who knew there were so many skills and such commitment within our congregation? Seeing people step up and step forward has been amazing. Offers of help, hidden talents and skills emerging, a willingness to be part of something new – our church is growing in faith, in prayer, in strength, and in numbers.
3. Sharing ideas. Churches across the country have gone online and it’s been a great opportunity to see different types of ministry and to learn from other churches. Hopefully, others will also have learnt from us. Never before has the church been able to share some many ideas!
2. Seeing God at work. Closing down church buildings was a courageous and unprecedented move but just look at how God has worked in and through His people! Even the press have now caught onto the creativity and adaptability of the church. The church isn’t just surviving, it is positively thriving!
1. Morning prayer in my pyjamas. No more rush hour traffic or trying to find the last parking space. Morning prayer in my pyjamas with a cup of tea and some toast. How very civilised! Surely I’m not the only one?
What are your top ten positives from the lock down?