Trauma transforms us. It leaves a mark. Its effects may make us better and stronger … or render us timid and frail. But trauma’s touch inevitably changes us. As individuals. As families. And as congregations.
One of the challenges we will face in the aftermath of COVID-19 is deciding what kind of church we want to be in the future. It is naïve to assume we can simply go back to what we were and what we were doing. Church leaders cannot afford to ignore a hard reality: the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual strain of this pandemic will leave scars for many for years to come. Nor can they afford to dismiss the harsh lessons this experience has provided: how fragile fellowship can be … how ill equipped most of our congregations are for conditions outside a very narrow “normal” … how necessary (and rare) are attributes like agility and decisiveness and flexibility to the church.