I heard a phrase recently and it’s really stuck with me the past couple of weeks:
“There’s a lot of water in the water.”
Roll with me here. The phrase essentially means there is a lot going on. Let’s think about the phrase in the context of surfing. Somedays the ocean can be easy going and smooth. On those days, you can catch a wave with little effort (unless you’re me…cuz that’s never going to happen), get back on your board and repeat. Other times, the exact opposite is true and it’s a big ole struggle. Because there are currents coming from different directions, you can be in the exact same spot, with the exact same water, and what was an easy day yesterday becomes a very challenging one the next — making catching waves and paddling seem nearly impossible. All the sudden you’re expending at least double the energy to do what would have been so easy just the day prior. Hence, there’s a lotta water in the water.
Lately, reminding myself of this phrase has been a great way of slowing down and staying calm when there is a lot going on – whether that’s anxiety over something specific, general circumstances, or a day feeling more complicated than usual for whatever reason. I also feel like the phrase encapsulates the pandemic and what we are all going through right now: Yep, there’s a lotta water in the water on that one.
With that being said, I just wanted to touch base on support raising in the midst of the pandemic. Some of you may be navigating it all swimmingly (see what I did there?), but lately I have been coming across a few questions. Questions such as: How should I meet with people? What do I say to figure out if we are going to be wearing masks? What about meeting outside? What if I don’t want to meet with people right now because I am immune compromised or am unvaccinated? What if they don’t want to meet in person and they are being more careful than I am? Guys remember the good ole days when getting the place and time nailed down for an appointment was the easy part? THERE’S A LOTTA WATER IN THE WATER. That being said, here are a couple of tips that may be helpful no matter what your beliefs are on COVID and Delta etc.
1. Wherever you find yourself on the spectrum of handling the Coronavirus, as you ask for appointments it’s important to stay mindful that others may feel differently than you do as far as safety is concerned. Thus, try to respect those differences. As you ask for face to face appointments, it may be best to try to approach your potential partner by asking what makes them feel comfortable. Here’s a sample dialogue asking an individual for an appointment via phone:
(after beginning conversation and briefly explaining your ministry assignment) “…I would love to grab some time with you sometime in the next few weeks to talk more specifically about the vision and goals of this ministry assignment and joining some aspect of my team, whether that’s in prayer or finances or both. I don’t know what you’re comfortable with right now as far as meeting — would it be best to mask at a coffee shop, stay outside, Zoom, or none of the above and your not worried about it — what are you doing to stay comfortable and how can I accommodate?”
Basically, it’s important not to jump to conclusions as to what your potential partner is comfortable with! Stay mindful and ministry minded. I wrote some posts early in the pandemic (this post and this one) that may serve as helpful guides that you can adapt.
2. It’s not time to pause completely or indefinitely. God still called you to ministry and that hasn’t changed because there is a pandemic. People need ministers now more than ever. It may be a teeny bit trickier, but that doesn’t mean that your asks or appointments need to come to a stop.
3. Build your online presence. Everyone is still online right now! Do you have a Facebook group? Set it up! Do you have Instagram or TikTok? (ok, I don’t have a TikTok YET) Set it up! Have you tried FacebookLive? Go for it.
4. Video conference / Zoom appointments are still working and remain a great option when needed. Since the beginning of the pandemic, I have been taking with many workers who have had (and are having) great appointments with individuals via Zoom. If you need to Zoom with someone go for it!
5. Have your appointment outside! If it makes you or your potential partner feel more comfortable to meet outside – embrace Mother Nature with a smile! Find a patio, coffee shop with outdoor seating, backyard, or park to meet someone at. Go on a walk! A hike even! Take lunch to a nice park. Go get ice cream! Or heck, a hotdog I dunno. Bottom line: outside can be great! Just make sure you plan accordingly and bring what you need for yourself and your potential partner to make it comfortable (bug spray, sunscreen, water, etc.). Have a rain plan if need be as well – think through some outside spaces that are covered if you need to stay outside, or have a backup Zoom plan.
In closing, It’s true there are a few more hoops to jump through as you navigate support raising through a continuing pandemic. There’s a lotta water in the water. But it’s not impossible or too much to move forward with! Keep your eyes on Jesus, know He has called you, and keep moving forward! I hope some of these thoughts help everyone! Have questions? Ask them in the comments!