For the past few weeks, I’ve been coming to terms with a rather challenging reality: the way society works has changed dramatically. Fewer people are willing to carve out the time needed in order to participate in the activities of community groups. Fewer people are participating in the activities of civic groups like Rotary Clubs and Kiwanis; fewer people are participating in the activities of political parties; fewer people are participating in the activities of local faith communities. It has become nearly impossible these days to set a program up on a specific day –at a specific time – and actually expect people to commit to it.
For years, community groups have been in denial about this. They thought if only they hired the right leader, came up with a catchier title for a class or presentation, or hired someone to do a fancier brochure or website – that they could lure more folks to participate in their group activities.
While the belief was well-intentioned, it had a very sad consequence. It made leaders feel inept and largely responsible for societal trends that were clearly beyond the leader’s control.
So what are we to do in face of this societal trend? Do we throw our hands up in the air and give up – waiting for the last active participants in our community group to turn the lights out on their way out?
Instead of giving up, I realized we can do something else: adapt.
And how do we do that?
Well, if people are unwilling to leave the comfort of their homes to participate in group activities – then we find ways they can participate from home. On their own time. On their own terms. Schools realized this years ago: hence the explosion of online classes!
With that in mind, this past weekend I created a new effort that I will slowly be unrolling out a new program call Spiritual Fitness Program.
The Spiritual Fitness Program will – at times – case me in a role that is analogous to that of a Personal Trainer. It will create opportunities for me to work one on one with congregants to help them craft a Spiritual Fitness that they can work on from home – on their own time, and on their own terms. I’m excited about the possibilities the program offers.
You may not be cast in the role of leader for a community group struggling to deal with change societal trends – but chances are you are facing a situation that has caused you frustration. If that’s where you are, instead of giving up – I would invite you to consider doing what I’m in the process of doing: adapt.
The adaption you take in your approach to a challenge might take you to a new place of excitement, energy, and HOPE!
See you next time…