Some of us we haven’t felt comfortable serving, and if we’re honest we’ve secretly enjoyed the rest. I wonder if that’s telling us something to us about overwork and managing workloads for those who serve going forward as a church, but that’s another post for another time. For now we need to recognise that many haven’t just got out of the habit of serving, they have enjoyed being served and the rest and that is a good thing. The challenge as things reopen is to engage them in serving again.
Atrophy happens. It is the result of not doing anything. It is natural. It happens in nature, it happens in our bodies. It has happened in our churches over the last year and a half. Just like our muscles atrophy and weaken through lack of use so our spiritual muscles atrophy though lack of use. The question as things reopen is will we put the work in to develop and grow those muscles that have atrophied in recent months?
The muscle of hospitality – hospitality is a command for God’s people. We should be a hospitable people, not just to those we know but to strangers. The pandemic has mothballed our hospitality or much of it. Some of us have been able to extend hospitality to singles as we enfolded them into our bubbles or as we’ve made use of our gardens but many of us haven’t. Will we, as things reopen, put in the effort to work on that muscle with the pain and ache that brings? Just like physical exercise a gradual build up may help, you don’t go straight from the couch to 5k, you build up gradually. In the same way we need to work up to this, take stock of where you are, and look at where you want to get to, and plan a gradual growth with a goal in mind.