Hi, I’m Yvon Prehn and Welcome to Devotions for Church Communicators Podcast!
Here is the podcast for today and below it the show notes and devotion.
How are you doing today? As I’m recording this, I’ve forgotten how many days I’ve been at home social distancing because of the current pandemic; it seems like a long time and I know it’s far from over. —
I’m fortunate in that I can continue my online ministry and as part of that, I wanted to restart my Monday Morning Devotions for Church Communicators. This one is going to be different than the usual 5-minute, standard format that I’ll start again next week, but for today I wanted to talk to you and pray for you.
I also wanted to share a devotion out of order because I was going over the materials out of my book on devotions, I found one that I think is especially appropriate for this time.
I wrote the devotion I’ll share many years ago. There are always trials and I know there will be many more before we make it safely home to heaven and this one seems especially appropriate because it is about Noah. The whole world changed with the flood and our world will be completely different when this pandemic is over.
We’ve all been through challenging times in the past, but somehow this time seems harder. I’m sure it’s in part because of how we are separated from the people we love. Part of it is that we feel so totally out of control. We can’t see or touch or totally protect ourselves from a tiny virus that kills without intent or pity.
The worrisome challenge isn’t only from the virus, but the challenges of job loss for some and overwhelming work for others. People need food and comfort and old people are dying alone. The news is consumed with Covid19 updates and we can’t escape it.
We are walking through the valley of the shadow of death—but God is with us.
Because He is, in all this, there are extraordinary opportunities for us in personal growth and in growing our churches and ministries. I truly believe, as always, that church communicators are on the front lines of the spiritual warfare going on now.
YOU are the ones charged with the sudden shifts in every communication project your church does and as always with little training and few resources.
YOU are pulling it off in incredible ways.
Churches are growing (even in my little church, attendance is up; online studies are thriving; prayer is alive—it is exciting!). Some of the larger churches with more public personas are reporting large numbers of people coming to faith in Jesus (as of the last count over 31,000 at Greg Laurie’s church).
YOU have done so much—but there is more to do and I want to encourage you with this devotion today. So without any more intro, let me share it with you.
This podcast is from me, Yvon Prehn and my ministry Effective Church Communications.
Our podcast today is entitled: Devotion #13: Doing new things in church communications is sometimes lonely work
Noah did everything just as God commanded him (Gen. 6:22) . . . .The animals going in were male andfemale of every living thing, as God had commanded Noah.
Then the LORD shut him in. (Gen. 7:16)
Like Noah, sometimes we can be doing all God wants and then what reward do we get? We get shut away with a difficult job.
Church communication work can be like that. We have the reward of working with great new technology that can enable us to communicate more effectively than ever, but like Noah, sometimes with new tools our world changes. In the past, a publication designer, typesetter, editor, writer, and graphic artist were all required to what you and the computer can do all by yourself. It may have been a challenge having to work with all those people, but now, you often have to do it all by yourself. You do much of your work alone.
Like Noah, sometimes we can’t explain what we are building, but we trust that God has an end in mind and we keep working on our communication project until it takes a recognizable form.
Like Noah, sometimes we must smile when people make light of or look down on our work. You may work with folks who still don’t believe that communicating in every possible communication channel is necessary or that you really do need high-speed internet access, new software, or a computer upgrade to do all you are expected to do.
Or you may work in an organization that believes that there is no need to learn new web skills and that no one would be interested in blogs, Facebook, podcasts, social media, or any other new technology. People may nod knowingly with polite disdain when you tell them that your book will be published through a print-on-demand website and you’re only working out the cover details before it will be done. When these responses come, simply smile, pray, and be ready for surprises. Remember, nobody had seen rain until the flood came.
Few people imagined what personal computers or the internet would do to the church communication world until they arrived. Sort of like the flood however, the old ways of creating communications are being buried under the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the desktop publishing and the internet and whatever else may be coming.
Finally, like Noah also, the whole purpose of being shut away to learn and do new things in your communication ministry isn’t to punish you or make you miserable. Sometimes being shut away is an opportunity for you to draw near to the God who can make all your church communication ministry a blessing in ways you never imagined before the flood of work you are now doing came. Hang on—the flood of communication work that seems like it might drown you might be the cause of renewed revival in your church.
The rainbow is coming.
From: Devotions for Church Communicators by Yvon Prehn
That’s the devotion for today. Please subscribe to this podcast on your favorite podcast app and sign up for my newsletter on the Effective Church Communications website. I’d appreciate it so much if you would tell your fellow church communicators about the practical advice, free templates, training, and resources in church communications on the www.effectivechurchcom.com.
IN closing, I’m Yvon Prehn and I’d like to end with this prayer and benediction for you as you work:
Lord of the light and the darkness, I bow before you and acknowledge that YOU are God.
In the midst of the challenges we face, Lord, I pray for all the church communicators listening and reading this that you would overwhelm them with your love and peace and the assurance that you are a good God.
I pray you would give them strength to do the communication tasks they are asked to do. Help them figure out new technology; give them endurance in the long hours of work; give them encouragement as they learn new things.
Help them balance time with family and other obligations. Give them the resources in income, food, and shelter that they need. Protect them from illness and discouragement.
Help them to work with creativity and joy that has its source in you and that sustains them day by day.
Give them a vision of how You can use this time to work in them, to grow them as your disciples, and to use their work to bring many into the Kingdom of God.
And now a BENEDICTION
May you do your work grounded in the Word of God,
Empowered by the strength of God,
Inspired by the wonder of God,
Confident that God is with you and that He will use your communications to accomplish His will in the world.
As you work today and all your days, may your ministry be filled with joy and grace, hope and power in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.