Now that we are nearly 10 days into our “Stay at Home” order from Governor Newsom, I’ve had some time to reflect on some of the positive things I’ve learned as a result of this experience. I like to call those positive learnings “silver linings”. I could list many, many, many silver linings I’ve stumbled upon the past 10 days. I think what I will do is list one now. In future days, I’ll list others as well.
One of the most important silver linings is that this situation has helped reveal a dynamic in our church that needed to be revealed. Our church is a small church that has moved out from being a family church to what’s called a pastoral church. We have about 94 households (or participants) who are active in our community.
In family (and small pastoral) churches, there is a dynamic whereby communications and relationships tend to be VERY limited. Many tend to talk to the small group of people; they rarely if ever engage those outside their circle of comfort. This tends to create an environment in church that feels cliquish.
So when the “Stay at Home” order was put into effect, I pulled together a Google spreadsheet that I shared with those who volunteered to make calls to church participants. The spreadsheet simply lists the names of participants in the church; the name of the person who reached out and called/contacted the participant; the way the individual contacted the person (i.e. call/text/email); and the date the contact was made.
Originally, I thought I would make a new call/contact list either daily or weekly. But what I’ve noticed is that in the first 4 days of our effort is that we have contact about 25% of the church participants.
In order to help shift the dynamic away from the current way of being (where a group of people contact the same people over and over) to a new way of being (where a group of people contact everyone), I told our list of callers that I would leave the call/contact list in place until all 94 households have been contacted. Once that has happened, then – and only THEN – will I create a new call sheet.
I would have NEVER been as aware of the communication patterns of the community had it not been for the issuance of the “Stay at Home” order. An even greater benefit is that if we use these sheets for the next month or so during the lock down order, the lay leaders can continue to use the sheet once I depart the church and they move into a time of pastoral transition. The sheet will keep the church connected at a delicate time of its history in ways that would have NEVER happened had it not been for this “Stay at Home” order. What a tremendous silver lining that is!
So how about you? Name one silver lining that has come out of this experience for you? I would ask that you limit yourself to one – as I will be writing about more silver linings in the future.