I measure church seasons by terms of office. We’re led by elders and deacons who serve for three years at a time before taking a two year break. Right now we’re saying “thank you” and “rest up” to leaders who have finished a three-year term. Jim, Mart, Mike, Tim, & Josh. And it’s been a memorable 3 years.
They started in July of 2019 – and I remember thanking them for their willingness to serve. The previous three years (2016-2019) had been really challenging. We had prayed, planned, fundraised, and finally built a new addition (lobby, bathrooms, cafe, kids space etc). It was a wonderful project, but a TON of work – and a massive strain on our leaders. I remember telling them that by Fall of 2019, after spending over a year worshiping in the gym, we’d finally get back to the normalcy of our main building and some stability and… I mean, “2020+ was going to be boring and unchallenging in comparison to the previous three years…” I said and God laughed.
Because the church leaders going on break now led us faithfully in a not-boring, very challenging season of disruption. We got back in the building and expected normal right before COVID hit and we had to together navigate all the stress of a state of emergency all while each of us had extra stress at work and at home. Leaders had to make a lot of decisions quickly. We had to deal with people under our care who were going through some of their worse moments. We started programs that helped and energized old ones (Health Clinic, Food Pantry, Benevolence). We walked with people who were in crisis, and came along people who needed support.
I’m out of the prediction business, but always working at being grateful – in this case to a team of leaders who rose to difficult occasions.