The Sprint

This post was drafted in Summer 2020 about what doing ministry in the pandemic had been like. We wanted to share it now, as so many of us emerge into a post-Covid world, as a celebration and reminder of how far we have all come, and the strength we all found. We hope you are as encouraged by Mikiala’s words as we were.

They always say that ministry isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. As ministry workers, we are cautioned to pace ourselves so that we’ll be in it for the long haul.

But “they” didn’t know that in 2020 and beyond we’d be doing ministry in global pandemic mode.

What “they” said went out the window when we:

Sprinted to the grocery store for toilet paper, so we could work from home.

Sprinted to shut down in person programming.

Sprinted to checking on our people and meeting needs as we discovered them.

Sprinted to live streaming

And Zoom

And video devos…so many devos.

We sprinted to, “apart, but together!”

We sprinted to cancel trips while carrying the grief of the class of 2020 on our backs.

We sprinted to digital VBS and camps, and basically unraveled years of trying to reduce kid’s screen time.

We sprinted to parking lot parades and to pivoting, not panicking.

For the past few months, the marathon of ministry became an endless sprint towards the next unknown mark; and it created this exhaustion of constantly starting and stopping and never quite feeling like the race was won.

And now we’re sprinting toward summer in student ministry while figuring out how to do it safely with little direction and guidance because apparently pandemics don’t come with “how to,” booklets.

We have run fast and hard toward each goal set before us and each time we reach one, breathless and spent, another appears out of nowhere.

For the past few months, the marathon of ministry became an endless sprint towards the next unknown mark; and it created this exhaustion of constantly starting and stopping and never quite feeling like the race was won.

My friend, I see you–hunched over, hands-on-knees, breathing heavy. Take a deep breath, lift your eyes, stand up straight. You have medaled in survival.

You have overcome each hurdle by jumping over it, crawling under it, or shoving it out of the way entirely. Congratulations, you have made it this far!

            But we must hold on to the progress we have already made.” Philippians 3:16

Look at the progress you’ve made! You have followed your call to Christ—His work, into unknown territory. You have given up on doing things in your own strength and you’ve chosen to run this race on empty until the God of all hope fills you back up again.

Now, you must continue on. The terrain is still unfamiliar—this path is rocky in some places, steep in others. It is dry and barren in some, while lush and green in others. You’ve got this. He’s got you.

Ready?

Set.

Go!

Mikiala Tennie
Mikiala Tennie

Mikiala grew up in South Florida. She started volunteering in student ministry while still a student herself and hasn’t stopped serving students since. Mikiala works in ministry because of her desire for people to truly know Christ. For six years she has served at First United Methodist Church of Stuart and currently has the role of Director of Discipleship and Student Ministries. She lives with her little Yorkie, KiKi Okoye Tennie.

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