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The meeting place is the learning place for the marketplace
Back to the office as the roadmap to ending lockdown unfolds
Monday 12 April was a very big day in our country as it marked the re-opening of outdoor cafes, restaurants and pubs, as well as hairdressers, gyms, and swimming pools. Seeing the High Street busy and shopping and town centres come alive again, one senses a cautious sense of euphoria.
And who can blame us for a bit of euphoria, tired of locked in our homes through a dreary winter period, so the ability to be part of something that feels alive again is special. Yet cautious because of the not-too-distant memory of our Prime Minister giving the nation just a few hours of notice on Dec 19th before more serious restrictions kicked in. Aborted Christmas shopping told the serious and challenging story that was unfolding and the dramatic surge in the number of Covid patients and deaths then led to the subsequent nationwide lockdown in January. We know the rest of our winter story.
Our Covid figures have tumbled since and we thank God for his grace, answers to prayer and the development of several vaccines. We have even been able to baptise 30 at KT, the first in a year. Yet we face the harsh reality that our neighbouring European countries, Canada, Brazil, India and others are struggling to contain the virus, reminding us why we call this a pandemic. Covid deaths may have dropped in the UK but we still have no idea when we will next see our overseas friends and loved ones in person. Across the globe this virus just hasn’t gone away.
But it’s back to the workplace we go in London, trains and buses once again full as hundreds of thousands return to serving food and drink, some operating and cleaning pools and gyms, others donning the apron and visor to put order to unkempt hair. While these industries appear to have a head start, thousands of office workers that have worked from home await instructions on returning to Covid-safe offices. They can expect one way systems, social distancing, protective screens and a lot of sanitiser as they head back. Of course we will miss the perks of working from home – no commute time, no rush hour, comfort clothing and footwear, the ability to toss your lunch into the oven while working, and stealing a few precious moments with the kids and pets. But nothing beats the workforce army being together physically, the chats over the work station, the sense that we’re in this together, and a reduction in numerous phone and zoom calls.
There is definitely something to the joint mission we set out on each day – arising, breakfasting and heading into our day at the office with a clear and renewed sense of purpose, aligned around something that feels so much bigger than just one person.
Thankfully zoom has kept us connected during this very uncertain year, but it never actually replaced seeing everyone in-person. While cells, small groups and office colleagues connected and collaborated on-line, we struggled knowing whether the person was really listening at the other end, missed eye contact, and yearned to go deeper in our relationship building. So yes it’s back to closer relationships and a ‘thank you Jesus’ for jobs and workplaces that are really our fertile ministry ground.
Our Giants strategy at Kensington Temple reminds us that the meeting place is the learning place for the marketplace. Through our Giants program, we encourage one another to live our lives shining brightly the best way we can in our marketplace, wherever God has placed us. God has strategically located us in these hemispheres to be influential in a world that badly needs Jesus. As we head back to places of work may we again sense our calling to these locations and pray ‘Lord make me an instrument’ wherever you have placed us.
If you or someone you know is preparing to return to the workplace, why not enjoy our law forum’s webinar ‘Salt and Light in the City – Speaking up in the marketplace’ on Saturday 24 April. The KT lawyers have attracted two tremendous, encouraging speakers. Expect reminders about the wonderful opportunity that awaits each day as we once again operate side by side with those that God has placed in our path. The harvest field is indeed ready and the virus is receding in the UK so it’s now time to return to your land and lay hold of it.
Ron heads up the support functions at KT including:
services provided by Adminstration, Facilities, IT/Web & Tech/TV Productions.
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