When I saw the puddle of water on the floor my heart sank. It had only been 3 months since I had fixed that shower valves in my bathroom when…
How Will The Delta Variant Impact Your Ministry?
While the summer unwinds, my heart is filled with gratitude that our parish could bring back some regular programming. There was a sense of hope and a feeling that we had emerged from a bad dream; however, as fall quickly approaches its hard to ignore the news about the Delta Variant.
To be completely transparent, I have not done a lot of research on the impact the new variance will have on people’s health, but I know it’ll be a factor in how we do ministry. What a year of formation will look like is yet to be written; however, one thing I do know is that we can’t afford to wait it out again. If you did last year and got by, then consider yourself fortunate; however, my advice going into the falls is to make sure you:
COLLABORATE AND COMMUNICATE WITH OTHERS
One of the reasons I survived last year was because I kept myself connected to other lay ecclesial professionals. Whether it was a cohort that met over Zoom or an in-person gathering where we were 6ft apart from one another, staying connected to a broader community helped me fight any feelings of isolation.
It’s easy to isolate ourselves when situations get difficult. It was once believed that ostriches hid their heads in the sand to avoid danger. While we might not cover our faces when faced with insurmountable problems, we tend to hunker down and ignore everyone around us. No matter how difficult the fall might be, we must stay connected because we’re only going to get through this together.
If you are not already a part of an accountability or collaborative group, then reach out to people in your region. Attempt to meet biweekly or monthly to talk about life, ministry and keep each other sane. If you aren’t sure, who to connect to or want to go beyond your region, check out MYM U cohorts, starting this September. To sign up click HERE
EMBRACE CREATIVITY OVER EFFICIENCY
When I look back at what we were able to do over the last year, it’s because we threw out the old game plan and were not afraid to try something different. Some of our ideas (e.g., YM Kits) really worked, and others completely failed. However, in some of those failures emerged new ideas and initiatives.
Through our AV Ministry (Which did not exist pre-COVID), we recruited high school and college students who were not afraid to try new software or develop a new system. There were plenty of times in the middle of live streaming Mass where their ideas totally backfired, but what we gained were bold leaders who learned from their mistakes and were not afraid to try something new.
Whether you are launching a new program or trying a different approach to your ministry, don’t worry if it doesn’t succeed initially. Instead, take the time to sit down with the process, look at what worked and what did not so that you can make the necessary adjustments. It’ll be a little messy at first, but from it will come great fruit.
INVEST IN A NEW CROP OF LEADERSHIP
I’m not sure about you, but we had a lot of people step down from ministry during the pandemic. Some of our leaders refused to work remotely, while others were consumed with the impact COVID had on their daily life. While we lost some of our leaders, we also gained new people and developed new roles for some of the current ones.
As we move into the fall, we are investing in some new roles where leaders can help us remotely. At the same time, we’re investing more into internships and looking at the next wave of leaders. While we might not have the initial return we need, we know that the investment will ultimately pay off.
If you are experiencing a shortage of leaders (whether paid or volunteered), it’s time to start looking a little more seriously at the next generation. It’s time to take a moment to look at who has talent and the willingness to grow. It does not matter if they are middle school, high school, or college students. Hand them the keys to leadership so that they can start helping the Church to fulfill its mission.
The fall will be filled with a lot of unknowns, and that can be scary and intimidating. But, no matter what the fall brings, we should not allow it to deter us from doing God’s will. Take the time to try something new, collaborate with others, and invest in the future. Don’t be afraid to take it slowly because it is a long road ahead.
Again, if you are feeling isolated and unsure how to tackle the year ahead, consider an MYM U Cohort. They meet biweekly, and together we look at your core motivations and talk about developing leaders. To register, click HERE.