It's Not Enough

Posted on September 29, 2020
“Hear my prayer, O Lord; let my cry come to you! Do not hide your face from me in the day of my distress! Incline your ear to me; answer me speedily in the day when I call!” Psalm 102: 1-2 ESV

I was on a Zoom call for the Children’s Council at my church. We were discussing our plans for fall and Advent with the Covid restrictions ever in our minds. We were changing some events into take home kits and figuring out how to hold in person events for kids under our current guidelines. I noticed my friend Ashley was quiet. In fact, she didn’t speak a word throughout the entire meeting until one of our pastors said, “Ashley, how are you feeling about this?”

She paused and then said, “I might feel differently than everyone else, but it’s just not enough.” And then she burst into tears.

Ashley went on to say how hard it has been for her kids to see schools open back up but not our church. How the kids are questioning why Daddy can go to youth events but the kids events haven’t resumed. How her kids were forgetting their church friends.

In short, her family was struggling after six months of virtual church.

She finished talking, wiped her eyes and the floodgates opened with the rest of us. Turns out, Ashley’s family was not the only one thinking, “It’s not enough.” Several people shared that their kids were disconnected from church after months of virtual services. They lamented over the challenge of keeping kids engaged through virtual learning. We shared how we missed what used to be.

If I am honest, leading the Children and Youth department of my Community Bible Study class feels easier virtually than meeting in person. I don’t have to take my kids to school when it is still dark outside to make it to the church on time. I don’t have to schlep a van full of supplies back and forth every week. There are no name tags, nursery no shows, volunteers to coordinate, no snacks. I can sit in on entire lessons in the Zoom classrooms AND keep the laundry moving! In some ways, I feel like I’m living my best life right now.

But I am sensitive to the fact that not everyone has this experience. People are hurting. Our kids, our parents, our leaders are hurting. For many, virtual ministry feels like “not enough” and “too much” at the same time.

The challenge of keeping young kids quiet so adults can attend another Zoom call is daunting. Kids who are fine in a classroom setting become disruptive or unresponsive in a virtual setting. Fellowships and training are harder to schedule because those set times with built in childcare are gone.

This is not a commentary on Covid, church reopenings, or even virtual ministry. It is simply a reminder that virtual anything is a dream for some and a challenge for others. Personal connection is more important than ever.

How will you connect with your students and students today?

Lord, thank you for the technology that allows us to continue meeting, but Lord, hear our cry. Help us find meaningful ways to connect with each other in this virtual time. Amen.