Dr. Bob Lowman, Jr.
December 31, 2020
As we end 2020 today, here are some lessons I’ve learned from what I have seen in this calendar year. I know that tonight at midnight the old year will conclude and the new year, 2021 will begin. My prayer is that this annual transition will not be just a regular movement of the clock and calendar, but instead a move we make to begin the new year armed with the lessons of the old, ready to trust, obey, and follow the Lord as He guides us into a brand new year full of hope and opportunity.
Here are some of the lessons learned in 2020 –
- We can do so much more together than we can do alone. We knew this before the pandemic, but in such a challenging time it was more than valuable to have other pastors and leaders who could help with challenges, needs, and opportunities. It was a blessing to have phone call after phone call, email after email from pastors and leaders connecting to solve problems, find answers, and help one another.
- Online meetings and Zoom calls are a good way to meet. People do not have to leave their house or office to meet with you. This is especially helpful for volunteers and bi-vocational leaders. I plan to do as many Zoom meetings as in-person meetings as we move through 2021.
- Visionary leadership, leadership that can wisely consider the future and help prepare others to move in the best direction. It is not flashy and fancy, but steady and wise that makes the difference in times like these. Seeing this kind of leadership among our churches is a memory from 2020 that I will cherish.
- Relationships must be a primary focus as we move into 2021. We learned how important it was to have others who encouraged us, challenged us, helped us, listened to us, prayed for and with us in these past months. That needs to continue, that must continue into the days ahead, year by year.
- Strategic Partners help make the difference – when the faculty at Southeastern Seminary let us know that since they were not traveling like usual, they would be ready to join us on Zoom calls. We heard, and had Chuck Lawless, Jim Shaddix, John Ewart, and Tate Cockrell on our calls – and what a difference they made for our pastors and leaders!
- Pastors care for their churches and communities – this year has confirmed the conviction that we have an outstanding group of pastors serving our family of churches. Pastors that were creative and innovative, faithful and steady, loving and prayerful, humble and ready to follow the Lord’s leading in difficult days. I knew we had good pastors, but this year confirmed and magnified that truth.
- Faith, Hope, and Love are absolutely necessary – when fear threatened at every turn, faith brought us back. When hatred and anger spilled over into the streets, love brought calm and peace to troubled relationships. When despair threatened us, hope reminded us that we know the One who is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine (Eph. 3:20-21).
Thankful for God’s grace through this challenging year, we trust Him to be all that we need in 2021. We move forward as a family of churches, together in hope. Pray with me that we will be His witnesses to all our neighbors.