Image by Jeyaratnam Caniceus from Pixabay 

Sure, 2020 has been a rough year with lots of adjustments and some difficult losses. But just think of all the stuff we’ve learned along the way! Talk about “things they didn’t teach us in seminary”! (Except #5. Dr. Graves tried very hard to teach me #5.) So here are

The Top 10 Things I’ve Learned as a COVID Pastor

  1. You know that great online workshop you couldn’t attend but were so happy to find out had been recorded and you emailed to ask for the recording and starred the email? Yeah. You’ll never watch it.
  2. A person’s inability/unwillingness to mute themselves on Zoom when they aren’t speaking is directly proportional to their background noise level.
  3. When you are internally complaining about other people’s inability to use Zoom properly is when you are most likely to share a long and brilliant point while on mute.
  4. That cool thing another church does in their worship video that you think you should do, too, will take you four hours to figure out and exactly zero people will notice that it’s not the way the videos have been this entire time.
  5. It is, in fact, possible to finish a sermon before Saturday night.
  6. For all of their advanced medical training, the women on “Grey’s Anatomy” have unplanned pregnancies at an alarming rate. (Anyone else watching a lot of COVID-coping TV?)
  7. You will never hear people’s opinions about the COVID building-use policy—until you publish a COVID building-use policy that they don’t like. (Which will be any policy you could possibly publish.)
  8. You move your hands a lot and make weird faces when you preach. (Or maybe this one is just me. See photo below.)
  9. You can put it in an email, post it on a web page and Facebook page and Instagram, and make a super cool “Announcements” slide show to run before your worship video. They still won’t know about the new Bible study because they have not heard the words in person coming out of your mouth on a Sunday morning. (Or maybe because their friend has not them about it in the parking lot after worship.)
  10. You should always have a plan B. And C. And D. . . . Or . . . you know what, forget making plans. They’re overrated.
This is for real a screen shot of me preaching this Sunday’s sermon.
Because in the Isaiah call story, God is REALLY BIG.

Rev. Joanna Harader serves as pastor of Peace Mennonite Church in Lawrence, KS, where everybody knows how to use Zoom properly and they all read the full list of announcements every week. Her blog is Spacious Faith.

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2 thoughts on “Wit’s End Day: What Pastors have learned during COVID

  1. I’m going to preach that isaiah passage too! I may look funny too!

    Things they didn’t teach me in seminary: the encyclopedia set!

    How’s this: Figured out how to put pieces of communion bread on toothpicks so no one had to touch more than one piece when taking the bread. Now mulling the possibilities of using disposable Q-Tips for the imposition of ashes on Ash Wednesday… (Sorry, I’m in New Orleans, and we’re having major discussions on how or whether we can do Mardi Gras safely next February. And the day after Mardi Gras is…Ash Wednesday!)


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