As lockdown started, we sat down to a zoom call with a big spreadsheet in front of us. A plan kicked into place to ensure that someone was in contact with each and every attendee throughout lockdown to ensure that people will practically cared for, connected and spiritually okay.
As I’m sure was said at thousands of elders’ meetings around the world, one person raised a concern “We don’t want people to become dependent on this level of contact and get used to it creating unsustainable future expectations.” Our crisis focused mindset was about to place the burden of providing all this contact on the leadership team but that isn’t in fact how our church functions.
1 Corinthians 12 tells us that we are part of a body and so connected to one another. Our church functions at its best when everyone in the church is looking out for each other. That’s what began to happen. All we really had to do was watch out for people falling in the gaps. Church members were phoning one another, checking on those who had fallen ill, delivering food to those self isolating, sharing prayers and Bible verses. It was amazing and it seems to have been sustained throughout.
I think that for that to happen, there had to be something in a church’s DNA already. I’m not sure you could start that in a crisis but I think it was possible for that potential for one-another-care to grow.
The best part of this is that yes, people will be getting used to the experience of supporting and encouraging each other. If that becomes the norm and an expectation after lockdown then it is a good thing.