April 9, 2020

Thriving through COVID-19

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In 43 years of ministry/leadership, I have never seen our world under such pressure.

COVID-19 has put everyone under immense pressure. Our families, workplace and our neighbourhoods are caught up in it. Our churches have been prevented from gathering indefinitely. Coupled with all this is the demand to reinvent the way we do church and ministry.

Can we effectively minister over the internet? Will they experience God? Will his presence travel over a distance on the net/phone like it travelled on Paul’s handkerchief and bring healing to the sick world.

Is this new thing sustainable: physically, emotionally and financially?

Yes, the church is resilient. Easter shows us that. We celebrate Jesus resurrection from the dead! He is alive. This time of pressure is not greater than any before. It’s just greater than we have experienced. The message of scripture is yes, the church endures and is indeed eternal. This season will pass.

Surviving or Thriving

The question is: will you survive and will you thrive? Thriving means developing new capabilities and capacities. This kind of change requires you to build emotional strength and well-being.

Remember when you traveled in planes (before Covid-19) the steward would say “in the event of an emergency oxygen masks will descend. Put your mask on first before you help others.” This is an emergency—is your mask on? Pay attention to your emotional well-being during this pandemic.

Key to Thriving—Give attention to your emotional well-being

How do you do that? Firstly, pause and look at your well-being gauges. What are they saying?

Every Monday since my burnout, I take time to reflect on how am I doing? See Monday’s blog.

I look at 5 areas on my Health Chart.

  • Spiritual
  • Financial
  • Emotional
  • Relational
  • Physical

I score each of these out of 10: 0 being low and 10 high. I do this in a spreadsheet and have the results form a chart. Then, I calculate a Median average of the scores.

Have a go at answering how you are doing in each of the five areas. Don’t overthink it, first response is good. In reflection, ask yourself “why did I put that number?” Take time to ask what you can do to lift each of these areas. Who can help you?

This crisis may make people feel like they have been thrown overboard. Life was cruising along, the storm hit and now we are swimming for our lives.

So how is your emotional well-being?

0 = nothing in your emotional tank, no strength to fight and no air in your lungs.
4 = under the surface but lacking the energy to kick to the surface.
6 = one more crisis away from going under.
8 = energy to rescue others.
10 = in the rescue boat and bringing others on board.

What are you going to do to reach the surface again? Whose hand can grab you and bring you to strength?

I am so thankful for my mentor who took the time to reach me and bring buoyancy when I was drowning.

Emotional health so affects all the other areas. Getting stronger here will make all the other areas stronger.

This season calls for healthy leaders who are able to reinvent themselves and their ministry— leaders who are able to adapt and change in response to the COVID-19 challenge.

It’s time to do new things. Give attention to your well-being.

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