“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”
― Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
Indeed, such are the times in which we live—especially for ministry leadership in kingdom work. We are all experiencing feelings similar to those immediately after life-altering moments like the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the moon landing, and the destruction of the World Trade Center towers. We get the sense that the world we live in has changed dramatically and our lives will be significantly different going forward. Clearly, different times and circumstances call for different ways of leading.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the best of times for ministry leaders who have adapted to the reality of social distancing. They have employed technology to hold online services that have considerably increased their Sunday attendance and exposed many people to the gospel. They have led people to Christ, around the corner and around the world, by utilizing social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. They have engaged in virtual discipleship by using applications such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams. They have continued to make phone calls and hospital visits as well as to send text messages to encourage their church members. They have inspired others by their faithfulness in spite of the obstacles and their humility in light of others’ grateful praise. Just as importantly, they have motivated many in their churches to step up and serve in new and innovative ways thus identifying new leaders who will serve the kingdom cause well going forward.
As leaders, we must count the cost of the leadership to which we are called and be willing to pay the price to the glory of God and the edification of those we lead. It will require hard work, confession of sin, asking God to exhibit new fruits of the Spirit in our character, and even developing new skill sets to meet the needs of the present and the future. God “is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us” (Ephesians 3:20).