I love fried eggs. Having fried eggs cooked over-easy are some of my favourite things to eat when I go to diners for breakfast (which hasn’t happened since February of 2020). Needless to say, I have tried to replicate the same product at home. The problem is that my frying skills have often led to a fried egg mess that ends up looking more like badly scrambled eggs (“frambled” eggs). To be blunt, frambled eggs are ugly compared to perfectly fried eggs. If the quality of eating was purely based on looks, frambled eggs would fail miserably. But if the priority is based on whether the cooked eggs are able to feed a person, the frambled eggs certainly pass every time.
During COVID19, I have discovered a lot of great family ministry resources on the internet. Many of them are astoundingly attractive and engaging. I am super grateful for these websites and videos, but they have also indirectly caused me to fall down a dark personal rabbit hole. By comparing these online resources from other churches to my own limited “frambled eggs” ministry, I allow feelings of inadequacy to take root in my heart and mind. I start believing that my inability to produce such original and innovative initiatives means I am an inadequate pastor during this pandemic.
If success in Family ministry during this pandemic was purely based on how good the programming looks, the manner in how I have been delivering programming would receive a resounding “D” grade. Fortunately, what Jesus asks of us during COVID19 is not, “Provide an amazing and beautiful production for the children and their families,” but “Feed my lambs.” (John 21:15) As ministers, leaders, helpers and role models who are struggling ourselves, we need to remember that we are called to feed the families of our immediate communities in the capacity that God has enabled us to give. If we connect with families on the phone, I have faith that Jesus’ voice is heard. If we send out weekly curriculum on email, I believe that Jesus’ life and command are discovered. If we write encouragement notes through email and snail mail, I know that Jesus’ compassion will be clearly seen and felt.
The truth is that we are living through a period of current history that will dynamically impact how family ministry (along with the global church community) functions for years to come. We have all been challenged to try something new to connect with families during this crisis, and we have all experienced loss in different ways. What’s important is to keep our eyes fixed on the perfecter of our faith as we feed his lambs. (Hebrews 12:1-3). For it is though Jesus that our imperfect “frambled eggs” family ministries will abundantly feed those who are dear to him during this period of uncertainty. So let’s all continue to be courageous in the strength that God gives, and let’s joyfully continue to bring spiritual sustenance to the families that we have been called to serve!
Derek Wong serves as the Children’s Pastor at East Toronto Chinese Baptist Church.