Intersection Online Recap: Lessons Learned During COVID-19

On June 17, 2020, Mission Central hosted its third Intersection Online networking meeting. The focus of this meeting was on collaborative learning by reflecting on how missions organizations have adapted their ministries in response to the pandemic as well as what lessons they have learned about leadership, communication or ministry.

Technology is a blessing but can be overused. The technological advances in digital communication have allowed for the relative ease of transitioning to online meetings. Video conferencing apps have been used to host virtual meals, Bible teaching, and webinars which have gained both regional and international participation. However, this mode of communication has also seen an increase in physical and mental exhaustion, coining the term "Zoom burnout". Refer to last month's post for tips on maintaining mental health and spiritual well-being.

Closed doors are open windows. A common phrase is that when doors are closed, God opens windows. The pandemic has caused some agencies to make a 100% wholesale change to how they go about their ministry, but also provided ministry opportunities to people groups who are not in their target group. One agency shared that the repatriation of a Canadian missionary presented an opportunity to plant an ethnic ministry in a Canadian city where they did not have a worker previously. This is a good reminder that mission is God's work, and we are invited to His work, not to take over His work.

Not all countries are created equal. In North America and most developed Western countries, we enjoy stable infrastructures, government systems and healthcare with the resources to address the pandemic. This is not the case in some developing countries where global workers serve, and who are the front-line workers. Challenges include maintaining contact or transferring funds.

Adaptive and collaborative leadership is key. The ability to adapt quickly to situations that change daily as well as to work collaboratively as a team are keys to successful leadership in a season of pandemic. Psalm 16:9 says that many are the plans in a man's heart but it is the Lord who directs his steps. It is important that leadership at all levels plan well but these plans are held in an open palm because God can and may change these plans, so that His name is glorified. Also, it helps to know the strengths of each team member. Find out more at CliftonStrengths.

Join us for our next Intersection on Wednesday, September 23rd at 10:00AM (PST) at the Mission Central Office (7200 Cariboo Road, Burnaby).

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About the author

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Sherman Lau formerly served at Mission Central in the roles of Church Relations Coordinator and Manager of Agency Collaboration. He seeks to advance the development and praxis of intercultural ministry in the Canadian multicultural context by discipling Jesus followers to think and reflect theologically, grow interculturally as well as live missionally with boldness and grace in his role as Director of Intercultural Ministry at Pacific Life Bible College.

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