In a recent meeting with our pastoral staff via zoom, I encouraged our team to embrace the concept of “flexible faithfulness.” The men on our staff team are wonderful leaders. Like you, we have all been challenged this year with maintaining effective ministry in the midst of Covid-19. While we must adapt to the changes of this season, we must also remain faithful with a heart to bear fruit for Christ.
Charles Spurgeon once wrote, “Faith is full of inventions.” I love that statement. Spurgeon’s context was the four men who bought their paralyzed friend to Jesus and lowered him through the roof in Mark 2. Because of their faith, they found a way around the obstacles.
Our team has been working to do the same. When we are limited in one type of ministry, we are working to invest in another type of ministry. For example, our Connection Groups are currently meeting in an online format. But just because groups can’t meet in person, doesn’t mean individuals can’t still meet one-on-one with future leaders for training and encouragement. Faith finds a way.
In our zoom meeting, I suggested to our staff five ways we can exercise faith as we continue to lead and serve through this season.
1. Remember every leader has a different role and responsibility flow.
One team member may be out serving medical professionals while another is preparing materials for Sunday school teachers. Be flexible.
Comparison—whether it is between others on the team or to other teams—will kill your joy in ministry.
I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.—1 Corinthians 3:6–8
2. Remember the Lord has allowed for a slowing in our lives.
Perhaps the Lord wants to use this time to strengthen areas of our lives or ministries that we tend to neglect in faster-paced seasons. We must trust God with the pace of ministry as well as the place of ministry.
We must trust God with the pace of ministry as well as the place of ministry. Click To Tweet
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.—Proverbs 3:5–6
3. Be sensitive to your family and the heart of your leader.
In challenging seasons, it’s easy to become so focused on overcoming the obstacles in front of you that you forget to care for and communicate with the people around you. If you’re married, your spouse needs more communication, not less during this season. If you are on a church staff team, make sure you understand your pastor’s heart before you develop and execute new programs. As important as creativity is, communication is even more important for team work.
In challenging seasons, it’s easy to become so focused on overcoming the obstacles in front of you that you forget to care for and communicate with the people around you. Click To Tweet
But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state. For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state. For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.—Philippians 2:19–21
4. Flexibility of schedule or program is fine and encouraged as fruit is continuing in ministry.
Flexibility is never a goal, only part of the process. This year it has been a necessary part of the process. But we must remember that Christ is the goal—even as it was for the men who brought their paralyzed friend to Jesus. I have encouraged our staff during this season to be flexible in their approach but to focus toward fruitfulness in their ministry.
If we are experiencing a lot of flexibility but little fruitfulness, we should probably re-evaluate the helpfulness of our creative changes. We want to be creative as necessary while remaining on mission to bring people to Jesus.
Flexibility is never a goal, only part of the process. We want to be creative as necessary while remaining on mission to bring people to Jesus. Click To Tweet
Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.—John 15:8
5. Remembering the internal growth your team experienced in 2020 will propel you forward in 2021 ministry.
It’s easy to get caught up in the portrayal of 2020 as a futile, exhausting year. But if that is our summary of the year, we’ll miss rejoicing in the ways God did work in us and through us. Perhaps the ministry goals you set at the beginning of last year were not met. But did God teach you anything about faith? Did you develop new and creative ideas? Does your team have greater synergy? Have you seen God work in lives?
When you as a team share with each other the internal growth you experienced, it will give you a greater drive to reach forward into 2021 ministry with passion and zeal.
Flexible Faithfulness: 5 Ways to Exercise Faith While Leading through Covid-19 Click To Tweet
O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people.—Psalm 105:1