With all the COVID restrictions, I believe we made more online purchases than ever before this Christmas. We had packages delivered by UPS, FedEx, USPS and Amazon. I was particularly interested in the way each carrier responded to the increased volume of packages and how that dealt with COVID restrictions to keep timely deliveries going. One of the players seemed to do quite poorly while they made excuses about the volume being too high or employees having COVID. Indeed, we ordered a package on December 7 which was supposed to arrive in five or fewer days from Ohio shipping by USPS. We needed the items for some Christmas presents we were making. Well, the package sat in the Ohio post office for 8 days before it began its route to us. In next 2 days it arrived in Virginia. It sat in that post office for nine days without movement. Finally, it arrived on December 28–three weeks later and much too late for our needs. When we realized the product was not going to arrive on time, we ordered a similar item on Amazon which arrived two days later. I noticed anything we ordered that was shipped by UPS or FedEx also arrived in a timely manner. This one USPS package was not an outlier in our experience this season with that carrier.
On the other hand, in response to the high demand and restrictions this year, FedEx hired 70,000 additional workers for the holiday season, and UPS hired more than 100,000 workers to aid with the rush. UPS added an additional 5 million square feet of space to sort parcels to handle the demand. These are just a few examples of how these carriers adapted and performed well.
So what does that have to do with the church? We can choose to ignore how the world is changing around us and continue to do “business as usual,” or we can adapt to the times and determine how we can best make disciples with a changed culture, new ways of doing things, etc. Whether we like it or not, the world will not be returning to life as it was in the last decade.
The church can choose to ignore how the world is changing around us and continue to do “business as usual,” or we can adapt to the times and determine how we can best make disciples with a changed culture, new ways of doing things, etc.
This is not a new problem to the church, we can see how many churches settled into the way they did ministry in the 70s and refused to change with the times. Many of those churches are now closed or struggling. Other churches adapted to the times, understood the cultural shifts and found ways to engage the lost and strengthen the believers. Many were able to thrive.
What will your church do in the weeks and years ahead?
The world, whether we like it or not, has changed in the last year and will most likely not return to the place we were before. Now is a great time to reboot the ministries of your church. It is a time to get rid of some legacy ministries that no longer help our church in its mission. It is a time to put everything we do under a microscope and determine if it should be eliminated, kept or changed. The future of our churches depends on this.
It is a time to put everything we do under a microscope and determine if it should be eliminated, kept or changed. The future of our churches depends on this.
So, we can just make excuses for why things are not going well and we are not able to fulfill our calling, OR we can flex with the times and determine how we can be most effective in this coming decade.
I pray we will all choose the latter option.