There are two kinds of people. People who will think 2020 was a waste and want to forget all about it, and others who will learn from it to become better. Which one describes you?
You may have heard the saying that experience is the great teacher. That is true but for the lessons to be learned, they need to be evaluated. 2020 was a very challenging year with hurricanes, COVID, etc. Crises have a way to bring out the best and the worst in us. So, it would greatly benefit you and the ministry for you to spend time evaluating the lessons learned for you and your church. You want to capture the good and the bad. Make a list and share it with family, leadership, and the congregation. Have them add to the list. You might be surprised by all the good God has been doing.
Lessons from 2020 are not just for 2020, but to be used in 2021 and beyond. People and organizations are not made better overnight but over time, as they keep carrying forward the lessons from the past. I believe this is one of the ways God works good out of bad. We all know we grow the most when times are difficult. It is when we are down on the ground that we learn the lessons to get back up. These lessons have equipped us and our church on how to respond to future challenges.
2020 has taught many of us: to trust and rely on God more; that we can change the method without changing the message; the importance of relationships and gathering together; and etc. These are huge lessons that can enable you and the church to be better and make better decisions in the future. Churches learn to make difficult decisions by the hard decisions they made in the past. 2020 is not a throw-away year, but a year to rejoice in our Lord for His faithfulness and goodness. The Apostle Paul said it well in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
I pray the redeeming power of Christ rest in you as you move forward into 2021.
by: Rev. Jason Scheler, Mission Executive of the LCMS Southern District