My dear friends, leaders of the church, things are changing so quickly. Every hour brings news and with it the need for further communication, decision making and planning. You’re leading change in ways you never imagined and aren’t wholly comfortable doing.
In the midst of that, you’ve driven to your kid’s dorm to help them pack up and move home; or you’re trying to lean into being the kindergarten and preschool teacher; or you’re caring for an aging parent and are afraid to go out; or you feel alone, with your support system on the other side of the country. You’re working 10-12 hour days, or longer, with a feeling that everything is urgent because in some sense that’s what we have created. I see you. I hear you. I know you are doing the best you can in our ever shifting landscape.
Today though, even if for just a moment, I’m asking you to do this differently. Stop. Breathe. The world will keep turning. God is in control. Remind yourself that you can’t fix everything, nor should you. Things will get done and we will collectively find a new way of being. This doesn’t have to feel like you’re being pushed off a cliff. You can choose to slow down and use this as an opportunity to remember your calling, refocus on the mission and ask Christ the all-important question: “What are you doing?” so that you may in turn join in that activity.
Over the coming weeks, I plan to offer you leadership tips through this blog. I’ll provide articles and videos that may be of interest as you seek to strengthen your leadership in these strange times. I hope you’ll follow along and offer feedback.
But for today, just stop. Put everything down. Move away from all the digital devices that can distract you (even that watch you’re wearing). For at least 5 minutes I invite you to pray. Listen. Be still. Acknowledge your own anxiety, fear and even excitement. Then remember your baptism, and be thankful.
Do this and you will be more fully present. Trust me, your family and congregation will thank you.