Pastor’s Corner (7/8/2021)
As I mentioned in my last Pastor’s Corner, leadership expert John Maxwell talked about the importance of dealing with adversity in his book Attitude 101: What Every Leader Needs to Know. He described several key reasons to embrace adversity.
- Adversity creates resilience.
- Adversity develops maturity.
- Adversity pushes the envelope of accepted performance.
- Adversity provides greater opportunities.
- Adversity prompts innovation.
- Adversity brings unexpected benefits.
- Adversity motivates.
This month I want to talk about the 3rd, 4th and 5th outcomes of embracing adversity. Maxwell suggested that adversity pushes the envelope of accepted performance, provides greater opportunities, and prompts innovation. As we move past COVID, I suspect it is a challenge for many of us to find ways to embrace adversity, particularly in the ways suggested by Maxwell. So much pain and heartache has arisen in this past year and it is hard to believe that anything positive could arise. However, as Maxwell would remind us, how we move forward has a lot to do with our attitude. We must embrace and acknowledge the pain and heartache, but it need not be the final word.
Personally and professionally, I have been forced to think outside the box. As I mentioned in my last Pastor’s Corner, seminary did not prepare me for everything that developed over the past months and year. Several years of experience as a pastor, chaplain, and Mission Coworker did not prepare me either. I have had to learn new things and re-imagine my ministry in almost every way. There were days and weeks when I was sure the envelope would be pushed so far that it would tear and I might tear with it. And yet, I have been able to do things once unimaginable. I joke that I might need to make more money since I’m now on TV. I may need to get bigger house and be more flamboyant. Aside from my strange sense of humor, I have made some essential changes so we can have a written worship bulletin and live-streaming. Life in the midst of a pandemic has pushed the envelope for us all. We have embraced these changes which has created greater opportunities. We reach out and touch more lives through all the media we employ. Our live-streaming makes it possible for those unable to attend in person to still join us for worship. Here at FCC we have wanted to find ways to reach out and embrace technology and COVID forced our hand. Through the generosity of the FCC Foundation we were able to move forward and install the needed technology to make all this happen. The skills and flexibility of the church staff also made these desires a reality.
We continue to explore what other innovations we can make to share the Gospel with those far and wide. We are exploring other technology updates that will keep us moving forward. The leadership of the congregation and the staff continue to explore what other innovations will help us move forward. Some of this innovation will be technological, but some of it will be found in people power. We continue to ponder ways to equip the members and friends of FCC in ongoing mission and ministry. How we employ the gifts of all will require thinking outside the box and embracing innovation. As the world around us continues to change will be invited to do the same.
May we all have the courage to push the envelope, explore greater opportunities, and embrace innovation as we move forward into a future no longer dominated by COVID-19.
With confidence and love,