New Opportunities for Spiritual Empowerment In These Pandemic Times

by Christine Sine
Volunteers use shovels and buckets to remove plants.

By Tom Sine author on 2020s Foresight: Three Vital Practices for Thriving in a Decade of Accelerating Change

Prepping for Covid Next & Flu Next

Many of us are grateful that the Pandemic has slowed down a bit as we head into the cooler months. However, a number of publications tell us winter may be waiting to hammer us with yet another new strain of Covid and two more virulent versions of the flu so it is essential we get our booster shots for Covid and booster shots for the flu. We dare not let down our guard as winter rapidly approaches.

Assessing the Impact of Covid Pandemic Past

It is also essential that people of faith join psychologists who are assessing the impact that Covid has already had on people all over the planet in the last two and a half years. “At Talkspace, a platform that offers therapy online, the number of individual active users rose 60 percent from March 2020 to a year later” (Living in a Pandemic May Have Changed People’s Personalities, Christine Chung, NYT, October 24, 2022).

Psychologists and Christian leaders are urging us to wake up to the personal and psychological impacts this long pandemic journey has already had on many of us. They point out that even if we may not have contracted Covid, we  have still been hammered by the stress of this long pandemic as well as the impact on loved ones and those in our communities. 

Join Those Recovering From Covid Pandemic Past 

We encourage all people of faith, including those who have not contracted Covid yet, to assess how you and your family and friends have been changed by living during these very stressful Pandemic Times. 

As we rapidly approach winter 2022, we urge small groups in communities of faith all over the planet to join those in Godspace in prepping for winter 2022 by getting your booster shots for the new strains of Covid and your flu shots too. Then join those who are determined to recover from the impact of the first wave of the Covid Pandemic Past!   

Step 1. Analyze the negative impact of living in Pandemic Times has had on your lives.

Step 2. Create new innovative ways to take your life back in 2023 and beyond, enabling you to not only reduce the stress but also create a new rhythms of life. Take time to be present with God and create new ways to reach out to our struggling neighbors locally and globally.

Step 3. Reflect on creative ways, as followers of Jesus, to grow your spiritual lives and share how we have been impacted by living in these pandemic times in your personal life and your relationships.

I am a big fan of Generation Next. Pastors know that a growing number of this generation doesn’t affiliate with churches. However few pastors know that Gen Next is the “Good News Generation” because a higher percentage of this generation is concerned about environmental, racial and economic justice than older generations. A high percentage of them also want to invest their lives in serious change making.

Researchshows that Covid has already had a concerning psychological impact on the under 30. “The pandemic itself was a ‘hell of an experiment’, said Dr. Clore, a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, theorizing that it may have been the restructuring of routines instead of overall stress that reshapes people’s personalities” (Living in a Pandemic, 2022).

Some people coped with the new stress, exhaustion, frustration of the period by finding a new outlet. “People want to connect and process together and we were not able to do that…People felt really lost because of that”. One of the major impacts on the long Covid season that no one anticipated is that many people under 30 experienced  a “disrupted maturity”. Angelina Sutton at Florida State found that that individuals under 30 ”exhibited the sharpest drops conscientiousness and agreeableness”(Living in a Pandemic, 2022). The last thing any of us want to see is Covid undermining the concerns and change making aspirations of this generation.

This provides a unique opportunity not only for churches, but for Christian colleges and important ministries like Intervarsity Christian Fellowship as well to provide counseling to Gen Next to recover from the current Pandemic so they are able to pursue their strong desire to be serious change makers in the turbulent 2020s and beyond.

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