Are we in a blizzard? Do we need to change what we do?

Posted on Jun 15, 2020 by Jon Dize - Lutheran Spirit

I came across this post as I was closing out some of my browser tabs. Here is a summary of four main points about, that I think are worth examining:

  1. We need to treat COVID-19 as an economic and cultural blizzard (need to shelter,) winter (need to survive,) and the beginning of a “little ice age” (a once-in-a-lifetime change that is likely to affect our lives and organizations for years.)
  2. The majority of businesses and nonprofits are already “effectively out of business,” in that the underlying assumptions that sustained their organization are no longer true.
  3. Leaders must set aside confidence in their current playbook as quickly as possible, write a new one that honors their mission and the communities they serve, and make the most of their organization’s assets — their people, financial capital, and social capital, leaning on relationship and trust.
  4. The creative potential for hope and vision is unparalleled right now — but paradoxically this creativity will only be fully available to us if we also make space for grief and lament.

Are these points true for our Lutheran schools and churches?

  • Yes, we need to do some things differently; we have already seen the amazing things our teachers have done with home-based, remote learning. I can’t wait to see what our 19 schools will think of next.
  • Yes, we need to increase our communications with parents, with prospective families, and with donors to let them know we are still here and we still need them. We need to be open, honest, and present.
  • Yes, the idea of wearing masks, handwashing, “group outings”, big galas, megachurch services, etc. now have a completely different impact in our minds than 8 weeks ago. Similar to how 9/11 changed our view of airports and TSA.
  • And I’m OK with #4; there have been sermons focused on the stages of grief during COVID. And I agree that creativity is the key to successful pivoting as we move forward. How many local churches moved to Zoom, Facebook Live, and parking lot preaching over FM radio?

In contrast, we are certainly not out of business! Nor do I think we should change who we are:

  • We still make great citizens with Christ-centered instruction by loving teachers. That has been the same now as it has for 175 years in Indiana.
  • The Lutheran Schools Partnership acts as a leader, champion, and collaborator now as it did when it opened 11 years ago. Our efforts are continuing to strengthen our partner schools.
  • The 4 Solas are still true; no changing assumptions there.
  • We continue to have confidence in the Word of God and in our Salvation. God is good indeed. Hallelujah!

God has given us these minds to be creative and these relationships to hold us together. Let’s not change what’s working as we change how we work.