Yesterday I was inspired by THIS ARTICLE on one of the blogs that I follow. After reading it, I decided to make my own list of confessions about how I feel after over seven months of dealing with COVID and all the issues it has brought into the Church.
- I am struggling to find direction. The Church leaders and I planned a 2020 vision (like many Churches did this year). It was a list of things we hoped to accomplish in the next five years. When the pandemic started, we were able to stay focused on several projects. As time drags on, it is becoming increasingly difficult to see the next steps we should take as a group.
- 2020 was going to be the best year of this ministry so far. We started the year with the highest attendance and engagement of my time at this Church. Then in March, we shut down. Once we reopened, I was hoping to start small and regain some momentum. Last Sunday, we had the lowest attendance in my six years of leadership here, which is worse than when a blizzard started on Sunday morning.
- My emotions have been all over the map. When we first shut down, I was happy as I thought it might be a nice break. Then I got sad because we could not get together. My sadness moved to anger and then frustration and next to bitterness. Now I feel sad and confused. I thought things would change and get better at some point, and it has merely not done it.
- The social revolution going on in America has made things worse. I no longer trust any media outlet. Both sides are sharing part of the story, and I think many people are being deceived. The polarizing events of this past year are dividing well-intentioned people.
- I am tired of people stretching the truth. I have had countless people tell me they won’t come to Church for worship because they are worried about how COVID will impact them or someone they love. Then I see them at Walmart, the school, ballgames, parades, and every other public event held in the community. What is worse is that they are usually not wearing masks or doing anything to protect themselves. I wish people would tell me the truth and say, “We don’t want to come to your Church anymore” or “we got a taste of doing our own thing on weekends, so we are going to keep doing that.” Please tell me the truth; I can work with that.
- There seems to be no end in sight, and that is making me crazy. I am used to a summer slump where people are gone for a season. I always know that after Labor Day, things will change, and people will return. One of the last articles I read said this could go on for all of 2021. I talked to a nurse about it and said that it would be more like two years.
- I am trying to trust God, but it is challenging. I wish I could say, “I know God will handle all of this, and we will be better on the other side.” This may be true in the long term, but it is not easy to see it right now. I am praying and asking for God to guide me and increase my faith. Nothing in my life has prepared me for this, so I keep asking God to give me enough wisdom to get through this day and the coming week.
I know all this isn’t very optimistic, but this is genuinely how I feel right now. It may not make you happy or be a blessing to your life, but you need to know that pastors like me are having a rough time this year, and I thought it might be time for you to hear the truth.