Flexibility....if you're like me, this word has become more and more a part of our vocabulary since March of 2020. It's not necessarily something we want to hear. In fact, sometimes it can be pretty frustrating, when someone says, "Just be flexible!". LOL
Flexibility....sometimes positive, sometimes negative....but definitely a part of who we have become in 2021.
This quote should become our 2021 motto. We have no idea what to look toward this year...Will we have lockdowns? Will we be able to have VBS? Can we have large group gatherings? Or will some churches still not be able to gather together at all?
We really have no idea what 2021 will bring. So now...we MUST BE FLEXIBLE! :D
Let's discuss some things that we can do to help our ministry and the ministries of others.
First of all, it's really been on my mind lately that I need to stay ahead of the game! Lockdowns in March of 2020 took us all by surprise. What can I do to stay ahead of that? I need to be prepared.
>>> Let's talk about a few ideas on what that would look like. <<<
If you are in charge of a group of staff, or if not, just for yourself.... why not ask for ideas on what you could do to minister to your children, during this time? Meet with parents, face-to-face, by phone, or zoom to find out the needs of their children in all scenarios. Ask what they need from you in children's services AND also if we had to go back to Zoom meetings. What do their children like or not like about online meetings? What do they look forward to in in-person services that you could try to recreate online, if needed.
For instance, if a child comes to children's church looking forward to puppets, can you hold a puppet during your Zoom talk, and interact with the puppet? You don't have to be a ventriloquist!
Ask your staff to write down ideas of object lessons, science experiments, craft ideas, and more that could be presented online.
>>> Again, we are talking about FLEXIBILITY. Being Flexible, prepared, and able to move forward under extreme circumstances. <<<
I have heard that many churches did not accommodate their children, during lockdown times. This is really hard. Some may not have much for technology to make it work...but a free Zoom account can even be used on your cell phone. Please don't forget about the souls of our children, if it comes to this again! They are just as important as the adults, and sometimes even more so, since they don't know enough yet to read and pray on their own. Each and every age group is important to God, and need direction to keep their life on the right path for eternity.
So that was #1....make a list of activities and lessons, etc. that could be presented online. That way, IF it happens again, you won't have to scramble to be ready to go!
Next, let's discuss VBS in this pandemic culture. I have seen many different discussions...many different answers...many different church plans for the coming summer. Here are some things to think about....
If you live in a state or area that is pretty much shut down already, I would start planning an alternative to the regular VBS. Maybe a Kid's Weekend with Crusades and family services. These would include puppets, activities, kid-friendly messages, and prayer time, etc.
On the other hand, I have seen where the community is missing events and would flood to your church, if it was open for special services...and maybe even a full blown VBS. So prayerfully consider if this is exactly the avenue the Lord WANTS you to take to minister this summer.
Another option would be to begin planning a regular VBS as normal, and just see what these next months hold for us.
Whatever you do...don't "DO NOTHING"! (Bad grammar needed to get my point across. LOL) When I was putting together our church Christmas musical in September, I had many people ask me if it was worth it in case of a shut down. I replied that our church and our community needs this...if we get shut down, then we will be all the better for spending this time working together in unity, even if we end up not performing. Well, I have to say that we did, indeed, perform...we had a wonderfully sized crowd, and MANY people from the community that has never been to our church in the past. You can view our performance of The Christmas Post HERE! :D
It could be the same for you with VBS. Maybe you could begin working together on it, only to find that you end up in lockdown. At least you got some planning done, and worked in unity! Now, just save those plans and decor for future use. Maybe you could have a Winter Kids Camp or something. :-P Nothing goes to waste, when you are a minister in God's Kingdom!
I have seen many discussing drive-thru VBS or virtual VBS. I am not opposed to this, but by working with the kids at my church, I feel many are getting "virtualed" out. So if at all possible, make alternate plans, and make it happen!
I love this quote I found. It's so true!
>>> Just Keep Moving Forward! <<<
Flexibility is not something we are born with! We must learn it, as we grow in Christ. Don't let things get you all bent out of shape in 2021. Roll with it... be creative... come up with new ideas... include your staff, your teens, and even older kids to help... and you'll find that regardless of the circumstances, we can have an awesome year in ministry!
One last thing I want to mention...
I believe it is SO important to be flexible with other ministries, as well. And I don't mean them...I mean YOU!
Sometimes, we get so focused on our own ministry, that any other area of the church that needs something, tends to put a stick in the wheel. Don't be like that! (I say with all love! :D ) Be available, be willing to share rooms and items, be willing to help wherever you're needed. The more you are able to be flexible with other leaders and ministries, the more they will be flexible when you have a need. Remember...it's a two way street!
This quote is so true. Set your goals...be stubborn about accomplishing them...but be willing to change HOW you accomplish them!
Thank you so much for taking time to read this. Please share below ways you are planning to be flexible in 2021 within your ministry.
Also, don't forget to check out my new KidMin Digital Planner HERE! I think it would be a help to you and your ministry this year.
God Bless...and until next time! :D
Sara Vojtasek & Joels' Vision Ministries