The word I’ve heard most this week is fatigue.
Everyone is tired. The respite of the summer feels like a lifetime ago. With news of another round of restrictions, you could hear the collective question: How do we get through this?
I’ve shared here, three practices that will help us to live and lead well, however long this lasts.
1. Live on purpose
While for some it feels as if ‘life is on hold’, God’s global mission – to redeem and renew the whole of creation – is not. While our context has changed, God’s mission has not. While we must adapt, there are opportunities every day to love our neighbours and to share, with our words and actions, the hope of the resurrection. Let’s make this reality our guidestar. There is purpose to be found in this pandemic. Why not start each day with this prayer?
“Loving God give me the courage today to make the most of the opportunities to care for others and speak for Jesus.”
2. Embrace necessary limitations
Some of us are trying to live as if it’s still BC (Before Covid). We’re trying to do as much as before, and do it in new ways. Is it any surprise fatigue has set in? It is important to own that we can’t do as much as before while dealing with all of the change. There must be a trade off if we’re to live and serve sustainably.
Let me give you an example from our work training leaders. In most countries we cannot currently gather groups of leaders for face-to-face training. Therefore, our teams have had to adapt to working one-to-one or online. We recognise that working online is much more tiring and so, we’ve been really clear that this limits the number of leaders we can train. The result of embracing this limit is that teams are not trying reach unattainable goals, but are able to bring their best to the leaders they are supporting.
Limitations also fuel innovation. When we understand the constraints, we’re more able to find new and better ways of working. Some of my colleagues, realising that endless Zoom calls are exhausting, shifted some of their calls to the phone.
What limitations do you need to embrace?
3. Live and serve from a small group
Small is beautiful (and not just in a crisis). Small groups provide the meaningful connection, encouragement and challenge that we need to follow Jesus and flourish. Online too, small groups provide better relational support than large gatherings. As Andy Stanley says, “Life is better in circles than in rows.” Small groups are more able to adapt and better at mobilising people in service. And serving is essential for flourishing.
So, make sure you’re connected with a small group. Depending on your situation, that could be your household or support bubble, or a usual church house group (right now, meeting online).
“Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labour; if either of them falls down, one can help the other one up.” Ecclesiastes 4v9-10.
Let’s do life and mission together. Covid has changed a lot, but God’s life changing mission continues and he invites us to take part.