During this time last year in January 2020 we were as busy as ever in a January working with clients and inquirers for their year-end accounts – it’s a busy time of year for the team at Benkorp.
At the same time we (Jeanette and I) were preparing to travel to the USA to be with our family for the birth of their first child and our first grandchild. Life seemed ‘normal and busy’ as it is generally that way for us. Small groups at church and in business were about to restart for the year with lots of plans for outreach and growth.
This year in January 2021 all that sense of busyness and groups and church are all different – disrupted.
So, we have turned to God in a different way this year, asking different questions and seeking new understanding about life in a disrupted community, disrupted family and chaotic world.
In the midst of this we have found it important to find a fresh sense of peace and joy. We would like to share with you and encourage you for your life, your spouse/partner, your family and your church and community one key (gem) that has 5 facets. These five facets are priorities to help us develop a lifestyle of peace and joy in our continually disrupted lives.
You say, “how could this be?”
There is the gem of truth in this, in the same way we are encouraged in James 1:2;
“My fellow believers, when it seems as though you are facing nothing but difficulties see it as an invaluable opportunity to experience the greatest joy that you can!” (TPT)
During this past year Benkorp has been working with people in many churches and organisations who have all been disrupted – some badly and some not so bad. People’s lives have been quite significantly thrown into disarray. Churches have similarly been in upheaval. The old or standard ways of “doing church” were halted completely and suddenly and now do not continue or return. It is unlikely there will be any return to “the former ways” soon or if at all.
What are you doing to develop a “new” lifestyle for yourself, your family and your church, community, small group and friendship circles?
Here are the 5 facets to take as priorities on which to base our renewed lifestyle:
– must be first, the daily and weekly and regular Faith practices. We suggest as a starting point is to study together the letter of James:
- Bible study, rigorous and in-depth seeking God’s clear encouragement and guidance for our lives;
- prayer as dialogue with God especially waiting and listening because we need to learn the way for today and the way ahead – through the disruption and chaos;
- fasting as real fasting from food to help provide focus (this is something new for us as we start this year);
- sharing these practices with others (friends, groups small communities – live and virtual)
These times seem to have arrested people’s realisation that Family must be preeminent in our priorities. Simply reflect on how many people you have met whose Christmas and New Year celebrations with family were disrupted
- Even when people don’t have blood family they seek out others to befriend and “be family” together.
- We all need people close – to care for and be cared for.
- Be prepared to be family with people who don’t have blood family
It is important to have our finances in order and under control/surveillance. This applies at the personal level as well as in our churches and organisations.
- ensure that your bookkeeping and accounting is being done properly and professionally,
- ensure you have regular reporting and that the reports are meaningful and provide the basis for decisions making – use the reports.
- These are the days requiring us to consider the “pivot” – can you make decisions to stay the course or change directions with your finances.
- Income is very disrupted and costs are increasing while other families, churches and organisations are suffering losses and even facing closure.
At a personal level this is easy – do things to stay fit. It is easy to be lulled into a sense of ‘fitness laziness’, so it is essential to stay healthy in order to live in disruption.
The same applies to our churches and organisations – stay fit. How can an organisation stay fit – easy, be active? It’s no excuse just because you can’t do activities in large numbers, with or without masks, lockdowns or lockouts:
- do activities in small groups, sponsor new communities and groups,
- reach out into the wider community because there are other people ‘out there’ who need you and need what you have – community and people with whom to share life
- sponsor new groups, lots of them
- live or virtual or alternate or mixed
Remember what it was like to do fun things?
Yes? So what’s stopping you now?
Maybe you can’t do the same things the way you used to have fun?
Maybe your family, youth group, community group or small group or even your family or as a couple, you can’t have fun the way you did this time last year?
It’s time to “pivot in your fun”:
- find out how others are having fun in these times
- poll your group or church members and committees for ideas
- poll your family for new things to do together (we’ve seen pics of our USA family doing some crazy fun games and activities)
- you? what would you really like to do? – try it!
Peace and joy in times of disruption will be yours as you reach out into 2021