The changing landscape of where, how and with whom we worship, has called for much creativity and flexibility, especially in families. I’ve been reflecting on the observation that it’s like we’ve been given ‘new wineskins’ and we have this chance to drink a ‘2020 more complex, but richer wine’, in following Jesus with fresh honesty and freedom.
The ‘Sunday best mode’ has gone and in this time of crisis we are being called to grow a more real relationship with Jesus and each other, every day of the week, in our homes, with spiritual care primarily taking place in families.
However, many families are shaking and feeling lost and discouraged, hardly enjoying the beautiful taste of Jesus. And too many of our precious children have not been safe and supported. This has called our ministry to listen closely to the ‘at this very moment’ needs of families and to discern who might be at risk. The quality of the existing relationships we have in our communities has determined our ability to be faithful in this and for sure, we have needed the Holy Spirit to inspire and direct us as we imagine what encouragement will look like if it is speaking to those needs.
The challenges of differing needs, for example, ‘the digital divide’ in our city, has made us use resources in new ways to try and include everyone. We have driven around communities with individual packs full of educational and bible-based materials, “WhatsApp’d” lesson plans with online links and activities, produced videos, set challenges, made phone calls, created a new ‘Families Service’ and more…
It feels like we might have been learning the kind of mission Paul speaks of in 1 Corinthians 9 of ‘becoming all things to all people’ while continuing to preach the unchanging gospel of God’s life changing love and grace.