You’ve probably noticed, there’s a lot more content “out there” on the internet right now. Every meeting is a Zoom chat, all our mass-emails and events are now followed up with posts and shares on every platform. There’s Houseparty, TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, podcasts galore, and that’s without even mentioning: Facebook. And then there’s Groups, and pages and Facebook lives to join…the list goes on. We’re connected across the globe in a completely new way. And it’s brought so much good! New ideas, innovation and information from churches everywhere. It’s a brave new world. We’re learning as we go, and sharing what we learn.
I’ve spent a lot of time talking with leaders and pastors over the last few weeks as we try to discover the ‘best’ way to lead and serve in ministry during this season. And in reality, the problem isn’t actually finding new ideas – it’s wading through the amount of them, trying to figure out which one could work in each unique space. And I’ll be honest, sometimes it’s a bit overwhelming. A pastor I spoke to yesterday remarked, “It feels like everyone who posts a video with a great idea also has to post a tutorial on how to do their great idea too.” I know many leaders are feeling the pressure to produce great content to help their people right now.
And because there’s so much good out there, it’s easy to fall into the trap of comparison. There’s a lot of pressure to produce something that people will ‘like’, and want to share. Especially since it’s never been easier for others to compare what we do with the ‘church down the road’ – from the comfort of their couch, in their pjs! I readily admire striving for excellence, and I want to use my gifts and resources to the best of my ability, too. I understand we want to do the best job we can, and serve as if we are serving the Lord! [Eph 6:7] But I’ve noticed, in this season, it’s easy for us to let this kind of thinking pressure us into prioritising the quality of the production over the authenticity of it’s connection. So instead of pressuring myself to create great content, I’m simply learning to be content.
I know ‘content’ can be a bit of a dirty word among Christians sometimes; we’re never supposed to be so content and comfortable that we grow lazy about the good work of the gospel – but we can definitely be content with what our God has given us. When God approaches Moses to lead the people of Israel, his question was simply, “What is that in in your hand?” [Ex 4:2] All Moses had was a stick – and yet we see how much glory he brought to God with that staff and his faithful heart. When the little boy offered his measly lunch to Jesus on that hillside, he never imagined how Jesus would bless his offering to satisfy so many [John 6:8]. But he was all in.
So I’m learning to be content with what God has given me for this season, knowing He has called me, so He will equip me for all that I need. I take great comfort in Ephesians 2:10. God has released me from the pressure of being good enough to please him (or anyone else!). He knew this COVID-19 season was coming and prepared the works ahead of me. I’m created for this. Called and equipped for this. And so are you. He has all the strength, the wisdom and the capacity available for you to do what He is calling you to right now. No one else knows your people like you do. No one else has been called to where you are right now. God knew what He was doing when he called you and gifted you for your position. And He’s so faithful, He will do what He has promised. [1 Thess 5:24]
So I’m praying we’d to be content enough to release ourselves from the pressure to be ‘the best out there’, or to be just ‘likable’. Ultimately, we’re all working towards the same goal. People truly seeking Jesus aren’t really looking for just ‘likable’ anyway. They’re searching for family. And you don’t have to have the perfect video set up to make an authentic connection with someone. Maybe it helps, but I’ll bet, if you offer what you’ve got to Jesus, and throw yourself all-in like the boy with the fish, he won’t mind that it isn’t the best out there. He always cared more about the boy’s faith than the fish anyway.
I’m with you in this, and I’m praying for you too – however you’re doing what you’re doing. That you’d know you’re exactly who God called to lead and serve His people with whatever you’ve got right now. If you’d like to chat more, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.