The COVID-19 Invitation
Who Do You Want to Be When It’s Over?
We don’t want to ignore the real suffering of this current health crisis. For some, the COVID-19 crisis has immediate implications on their finances, their health, family dynamics and, for sure, their social dynamics. Evangelists are no exception. Evangelists, however, are innovators, finding the silver lining in all things and, even during this health crisis, my bet is you’ve seen new opportunities that you’d never have had if this pandemic hadn’t occurred. Having said this, if you are anything like me as an evangelist, the new normal of COVID-19 has hit you hard. My guess is that you may be struggling in new ways, perhaps not even being able to give words to some of the emotions and thoughts you are having. For most evangelists, “air travel” and “ministry” are synonyms. For most evangelists, we cannot NOT “GO!” We are used to being on the road, in front of crowds, holding the mic, and telling the world about God’s great love. The stay-at-home orders and the impossibility of in-person gatherings all over the world challenge not only our idea of ministry but, if we are honest, our very identity and sense of purpose in God’s Kingdom. If even a small part of this is true for you, here are three things to encourage you as you deal with this “new normal.”
- The Silver Lining: As an evangelist, you are used to finding the silver lining in all things. There is a silver lining in this season of isolation for you, not just the world around you. This is a good time to remember as important as the role of the evangelist is in the world, God really doesn’t HAVE to rely on us. God can call the rocks of the Earth to testify on His behalf. He has CHOSEN to use us and for now, for many of us, we are on pause. Use this time to do the soul work you have been putting off when you were sure the work depended on you catching that flight, making that event, and holding that mic. God wants to deepen your soul and this time of isolation and rest is the perfect environment for that to happen. Spend time, real time, in His Word. Meditate, journal, prayer walk, fast, listen. God is in this time and wants to do a work in you, not just through you!
- Look to the Future: While we don’t know how this pandemic will end, it will end. Who do you want to be when it is over? If you are only asking the question, “What will I do?” during this time, you are missing God’s invitation. I believe God will use this pandemic to strengthen His Church and deepen the soul of His evangelists so when we get back out there, God will be working in us in new and powerful ways! Who do you want to be when this is all over? Nobody knows how we will do church or stadium events or concerts or festivals, but we do know that whatever the future holds, we need to be the women and men God calls on when we get to hold the mic again! Look to the future and focus on who God wants you to be instead of how you’ll do what you do.
- Be Present Now: As I’ve talked with other evangelists, I’ve found a common theme–the realization that we’ve been busier than we thought. Most of us can’t remember a time when we’ve spent so much time with our loved ones. Instead of fitting family in between trips, we are on “extended holiday” with them. Let’s not lie, this is a mixed bag isn’t it? If you’re like me, the trips helped us be better fathers, mothers, and spouses. I looked forward to getting away often, but always looked forward to coming home when I was gone. This cycle of coming and going, waiting and sprinting has been replaced with an unknown, prolonged season of being at home. I want to challenge us to be present while we are at home. Don’t just fill your days with at-home ministry activities–writing, developing on-line videos, Zoom calls–but rather, be present as much as you can and receive these days as a gift for you and your family. I believe if we will do that, our spouses and children will look back at this moment as one of the best things that happened to us and our families.
In the end, I believe we will get back to airplanes and crowds and microphones. I’m sure of it. However, this season is not like circling LaGuardia in the fog waiting to land (yep, you know what I’m talking about!). This is a new normal, a season of uncertainty, of fear, and of opportunity. Make the most of this opportunity so that when we get to land, we are renewed in Christ, experiencing His power and presence in ways we never have before!