This post was written by Leann Woelk, a member of the INCM Blog team.
“But forget all that – it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new.” Isaiah 43:18
My dad loved doing the laundry. He liked the process of sorting the colors, choosing the temperature, adding some fabric softener at the precise time, moving the clothes from the washer to the dryer, then from the folding table to our dresser drawers. He felt so satisfied to have chosen the right settings for the best possible outcome of the laundry.
I, on the other hand, do NOT like to do laundry. I do it, yes, but I don’t like it. That’s why, when we had to replace my old washing machine, it was a big deal to me.
You would think it wouldn’t be a huge change, as the machines were quite similar. Yet, I found myself having to study the manual to find out what all the new buttons and functions and gadgets and gizmos could do, and why they existed. I had so many to choose from: Delicates, Permanent Press, Heavy Duty, Whites, Speed Wash, and on and on. I had become so familiar with the “normal” button, that it was the only one I used.
So I adapted to my “new normal” by following the manual’s suggestions–sorting the clothes into new categories, and putting them through the wash, one load at a time. After each cycle was complete, I had to admit, the clothes did seem cleaner.
Going back to my “old normal” wasn’t going to be possible anymore. Not only because it was more effective now to clean my clothes this way but also because I didn’t have a choice–the machine was just plain different. I had to embrace the “new normal.”
Isn’t this just like ministry right now?
Nothing is normal about what we are going through! I’ve talked with many leaders who have been through the wringer in this season. Everything you’ve learned over the years in ministry seems as though it doesn’t work in this setting.
Many of you have felt forced into online services, video calls, social media platforms, without even having time to watch the tutorials on how to do this “new normal.” But there you are, online, for everyone to see and hear your message this Sunday!
And I am SO PROUD OF YOU!
You were forced to change. It wasn’t your choice. You had to change the setting on this well-run machine of Children’s Ministry and it can’t look the same as it did before.
While we had hoped things would “get back to normal” our whole machine changed and isn’t going to work like it did before. It’s a good thing we have our manual for times like this.
“Stop dwelling on past events and brooding over times gone by; I am doing something new; it’s springing up – can’t you see it? I am doing something new; it’s springing up — can’t you see it? I am making a road in the desert, rivers in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:18-19
God is up to SOMETHING NEW and He wants to do it IN AND THROUGH YOU!
From this new perspective, we may have been longing for the past (the “normal”), but God is telling us it’s time for something new.
What has been “springing up” in you during this pandemic? What creative and refreshing ideas are deep in the well of your heart that are just waiting to come forth and make rivers in dry wastelands?
To quote the title from Patsy Clairmont’s 1998 book, Normal Is Just a Setting on the Dryer. Normal was in the past, and the new normal is about to be created–by you! The life-giving words and actions you are about to do and speak, are going to change lives for eternity! It may not look like what you’ve done before, but it’s going to be amazing!
You can do this, friend. I can’t wait to see what your new normal looks like!
As a wife, mother, and leader in the ministry of children, Leann has been serving churches, camps and conferences with enthusiasm for over 30 years with whimsical creativity and thrifty practicality. Her desire is to care for the hearts of those who are on the front lines of ministry. She partners with Children’s Ministry Specialists and their churches to provide training, support and care for them and their ministry.