A few weeks ago, three of us from East Hills and the Grove went down to Dallas, Texas for our final training with the Multi-site Church Innovation Lab. As we were there, I found myself reflecting on how much had changed since or first trip one year ago. At that initial meeting, we didn’t have a name or a location for our campus, very few systems were in place, and none of our volunteer leaders had been identified. One year later, all of those areas, and many more, have been settled and have become for us our new normal. I marveled for a few moments about how quickly those changes had become an established new normal.
As a church family, we are in a season of adopting new normals. The campus launch, staff transitions, and new faces attending all create the need for new normals. At home, my family and I are also experiencing many new normals as both my wife and our 5-year old son started kindergarten. Having my wife work full-time, three kids in school, and one son being watched by friends has created many new challenges for us.
Perhaps you are also facing some new normals in your life, whether here at church or at home. These are critical times for us to make wise decisions so that our new normals become healthy places rather than difficult struggles. So how do we adjust to the new normals in our lives? I offer you three suggestions:
1. Keep your eyes up. When developing a new normal, we must keep our eyes on God’s presence and activity in us and around us. Changing circumstances can draw our attention in a consuming way until the change is all we see. Lifting our heads in worship and in prayer reminds us of the bigger picture and of God’s powerful provision for us.
2. Keep your hands out. In a season of change, we must remember that people matter more than routines. Sometimes we are tempted to cling to our routines, traditions, or personal comfort zone. None of these matter as much as the people around you. During a new season, prioritize your relationships with family and friends. Invest in them and spend time with them, even if the circumstances look different.
3. Keep your feet moving. One of the most common reactions to change is to freeze. Our brain and body become paralyzed with uncertainty and we get stifled into doing nothing. As you develop new normals, continue to actively do the things you feel called to do. Use your gifts to serve others. Take advantage of a new opportunity to get involved in a group or ministry. Practice healthy spiritual disciplines that keep you engaged in your faith. I find that people "on the move" spiritually and emotionally make better decisions than those who adopt a hunker-down mentality.
As the apostle Paul reminds us, Forgetting what is behind and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. (Phil. 3:14) May we all press on towards the good things God has in store for us in our new normals!
Blessings- Pastor Nick