I want to start by saying – You have all done an amazing job of just living through this pandemic.
I must confess I was surprised to see I will have almost a month off in coming weeks and I know that many of you will be preparing for likewise. Once we get past the crazy of Christmas we have a month before we start to heading back into the crazy of managing life, families, church and faith.
COVID for me has raised some serious questions about why we are engaged with the ministries that we are engaging in, what is the purpose of the Church?
Why should a church care about children? If we are people of faith and the key to our lives is to be followers of Jesus, what does Jesus say about this? I bet you like me went to a couple of key texts and the song Jesus loves the little children comes streaming into your head (this is so ironic as I didn’t grow up in the Church!) What if we were to dig a bit deeper, where is the children in the rest of the bible and how would have Jesus treated them in light of the few actual stories we have?
Why should the church care about young people? Is there more to ministry with young people other than they are great babysitters (some of them anyway!) and have strong arms to move furniture, ah, but now they might also be good with our tech! How would Jesus treat the young people that we would consider adolescents now? What is his message to them?
Why should we care about young adults? They are adults, they should like what we like and grow up in their faith! What examples have we got from Jesus life about how he would treat young adults?
Can I invite you over the following month as your time off spiritual practice, to ponder these questions? To sit deeply with the place of ministry and what you are trying to achieve before you start planning. It is so easy in the busy and crazy to just jump straight into the tasks of our ministry and in doing so we forget the why we are doing it. The problem is that sometimes the tasks then lose their soul, purpose and meaning and in doing so become empty and chores.
Know that I will be doing likewise over the break. I would love to hear your reflections, why not have a conversation online!
Prayers for you all as you ponder and rest. May you have playful times with people you love, moments of memory making and a deeper dwelling in the love of God.
Meet you again on the path together next year!
Karen Mitchell-Lambert is ordained in the ministry of Deacon and is the team leader of PULSE.