So what does all of these mean for me?
So far it has doubled my work and my stress, the same as the rest of you I am sure. We are all in this time of constant change. But a bright side is that it is an opportune time for ministry. So many students find themselves at a crisis moment for a 20-year-old. Their entire worlds have been changed and they are trying to make terms with the fact that they will not have their athletic seasons, senior recitals, spend time with friends, or have face to face teaching from professors…… For them their world revolves around a small bubble called campus and it has just disappeared from their lives. Expectations have been shattered. Internships that won’t happen, summer scholarship opportunities that have been cancelled and so they are left with this changing life amongst the chaos that surrounds them. And so through these last ten days I have been on campus with students working through the decisions and trying to look for the positives.
My challenge to them is, “Did you trust God last month?” And when they say yes, I then answer….then we must choose to trust Him now as well. Because nothing has changed in His world. This world seems to be shaken to the core, but we are given a choice – to look toward the opportunity that is out there or to fall into a chasm of negative thoughts and fear.
There will be a season of grief for these students as they realize the abruptness that happens. But they are also a generation that is extremely flexible. And so as the new normal settles in and this world determines how best to quarantine, we will press into the opportunities for ministry that abound.
And so what will I do as they are away from campus? Ministry. My work will actually increase as I have to do new things and learn new skills. As we move forward and follow recommendations, we will determine how best to gather and walk through this together. I also will be abruptly changing my ministry to a digital platform. Praise Jesus that this generation is tech savy! We will meet digitally as if we were in the same room for our weekly meetings and Bible Studies. I will call students individually for discipleship time instead of meeting in person.
For me it is also a time to grieve as we were gaining momentum in much of our ministries. I always love March and April because it is a time where I really have developed relationships with students and can see fruit. And so just as I am challenging students to make the decision to continue on despite the circumstances, I myself must rise to that challenge as well and engage with students. There is still work to be done and a harvest that is ripe. I do not want this year’s crop to lay in a wasteland so I have committed to pressing into this next season that God has quickly brought upon us!
Will you be praying for me as I prepare in a different way and for the students as they find themselves isolated and many of them with much uncertainty. I am praying for you all as well as this is not just something hitting college campuses, but every home.
This was our bowling event that we had during the Deeper Life Conference. So excited for the momentum we had going into March. Pray for these students as they were dispersed!