Rebuilding After Hurricane Covid
One of my monthly routines as a pastor is to look through the church directory to figure out who is still connected in the family and who may be drifting away. This has always been a challenging task for many reasons.
The most obvious difficulty is the sheer number of people. Around five or six hundred people call Evergreen their church home, and that’s a lot of folks to touch base with. The wide spectrum of life situations is another complicating factor. We have people with fragile health unable to get out of their residence, young singles who have connections in multiple churches, families who live 45 minutes or more from the church building, “snowbirds” who are only in the area half the year, business people who often travel for work, camping enthusiasts who head out every chance they get, intermittent attendees who come to church in flurries separated by long periods of absence and a dozen other unique variations.
Then along came Covid and multiplied all the obstacles by a factor of ten. While the pandemic has made things difficult for everyone, it has been most dangerous for those whose connection to the church body was already weak. Yes, the livestream has helped maintain a certain level of connection, but it is limited and vulnerable. Good friends have admitted to me that it is easy to tune in late, or just have it on in the background while you’re doing something else or to just plain skip it altogether. And even if you really engage in the service stream, it needs to be supplemented with some form of communication and interaction with others in the church family. Some are doing that and I praise God that they are actually more connected than they have ever been. However, I fear others are drifting away, and scariest of all, may not even realize it.
This is a season for rebuilding, like communities after a storm. Hurricane Covid has done a lot of damage, and I am encouraged to see many members assessing the damage and taking steps to get connections restored again. Every week there are people attending worship in person for the first time in over a year and the joy is palpable. Simply walking through the door doesn’t automatically build relationships, but it sure provides rich opportunities.
If Evergreen Bible Church is your church, I urge you to take stock of your situation and assess your connection to the church family. Where there is a need to rebuild, make some plans and go at it with intentionality. Don’t forget to also keep an eye out to see if your neighbors might need some help. And if you need some assistance from me or any of us here in the office, please say so. That’s why we’re here.