The new normal should lead to a new normal

As we emerge out of lockdown like hibernating bears emerging from their winter cave, what is your post lockdown plan?  The media is full of talk of a ‘new normal’ which involves facemarks, localised lockdowns, smaller social gatherings, new ways of dropping and picking up from school and so on.  But what about us?  What is your new normal going to be?

I’ve been musing on this this week as I think about this terms preaching plan.  Normally

Want, Need And Must Have
Want need and must have conceptional drawing on the chalkboard

I’d have has this term planned out at Easter but with all the uncertainty over when, if and who would be back meeting together, how many services etc… I simply haven’t been able to put a plan together.  As a rule we tend to preach through books of the bible with the odd topical series thrown in.  I’ve been toying with doing a short series called reset.  Looking at what the possibilities emerging from lockdown brings in terms of us having a spiritually healthy new normal.  But it’s proving tricky to put together.

Let me ask a few questions:

  1. What did you most appreciate about the early days of lockdown?
  2. What did you most miss?
  3. As the lockdown stretched on over months what bad habits became most deeply ingrained?
  4. What one lesson you’ve learnt do you wish to keep?

My worry is that for so many of us lockdown exacerbated already bad habits.  It made us binge watch box sets to alleviate boredom, isolated us from our church family, cemented the idea that online church is just as good as physical church, and made us turn inward to protect us and ours to the exclusion of others even more than before.

As we emerge into a new normal there are things we need to recognise, there are things we need to fight to change.  But there is also a great opportunity to have a new normal.  To make relationship with God and his people a priority.  To maximise the potential for technology to enable us to pray more (I’ve love dour 3 zoom prayer meetings a week).  To look back on the hectic breathless nature of life pre-lockdown and determine and plan not to go back there but to allow time in life to breathe, relate, share and meditate.  None of these things will be easy, they will all take thought and time to establish, we will have to fight for them.

I’d love to know your thoughts.  Whether the potential series ever makes it to preach we’ll see, I’m very aware of danger of my thoughts driving a series rather than scripture. In the mean time what changes would lead to a new spiritually healthy normal for you, your church, your leaders?

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