I’m currently planning the exact same mission trip for the THIRD TIME. Haven’t made it there yet because of COVID restrictions and issues. And, yes, I used all caps because that’s how incredibly frustrated I feel at this point.
Maybe, you are having similar experiences. It seemed like ministry life was beginning to normalize as much as it ever will when your area was hit with an outbreak or a new restriction. You’ve changed things, moved things, cancelled things to the point where you do not want to make a plan for anything because it just feels exhausting to think about possibly having to change that plan yet again.
I feel your frustration. I’m afraid, however, that Satan is using COVID to discourage us from making the types of plans God calls us to make. Not selfish plans for bigger or better, but all of those plans described in the book of Proverbs. Plans that allow us to see how God is guiding our ministry as we see Him shaping, molding and modifying our rough draft of a plan for it, whether it be a personal or a corporate ministry.
Satan knows that without a basic draft of a plan that helps us clearly see God’s direction, we will wonder aimlessly. Our efforts will bear fruit erratically as we just meander from task to task. We will miss new opportunities to minister because we don’t see what God is putting before us. The Holy Spirit is obscured because we can’t hear the confirmation from multiple sources that God has planned a certain good work for our ministry. We can’t even notice the walls God is placing to get us to change directions because in our aimlessness, we walk into walls everywhere we turn.
I want to encourage you (and myself) to take some time over the next month to develop a godly strategic plan for your ministry. Use your wisdom and discernment to allow for God to change that plan. We have a great free tool for you to use in developing your godly strategic plan you can find here on our website. Take the time to do it as if life will be “normal”. Our method has built in ways for you to see God shaping and changing it.
When you are finished, consider it a rough draft. Instead of viewing things like COVID as hinderances to your plan, view them carefully to see how God might be using them to shape His plan for your ministry. Look for indications that maybe God has another way He would prefer you to use those resources during that time period. If I’m honest, COVID changed the field work I loved, but forced me to use the time in my house to write three ministry textbooks which I had been ignoring God’s prodding to write for years. Did I enjoy writing as much as I enjoy interacting with people? No, but I needed to focus on the ministry God needed me to do at the moment and not just on the ministry I enjoy the most.
So take some time in the next few weeks and develop that godly strategic plan. Then, instead of being frustrated with the changes that will inevitably happen, watch God work to shape the plan to allow you to do the good works He has planned for you in the next year.