Loving One Another in a Virtual Era
Written by Vernon Quek
With this week’s announcement of the extension of Singapore’s Circuit Breaker until June comes the bleak reality that our interactions with one another will remain virtual for at least the foreseeable future.
How are you doing in this season of Zoom (and other virtual platforms) that has been forced upon us all? Are you adjusting well to this new Zoom culture? Or have you found the frequency and intensity of all these virtual meetings tiring and draining? I believe that no matter how extroverted you are, that given the Circuit Breaker extension, it’s only a matter of time before we all fall into the latter category. This is why I thought it’d be a good idea to pause this week to start a conversation about how we can best approach this ‘virtual reality’ both individually and together as a church family.
Luke ends his book on the Acts of the Apostles with this account of the Apostle Paul in Acts 28:
16 And when we came into Rome, Paul was allowed to stay by himself, with the soldier who guarded him…30 He lived there two whole years…and welcomed all who came to him, 31 proclaiming the kingdom ofGod and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.
Notice here that Paul also had a period of being confined to a house (for much longer than us) and what does he do? He does everything in his limited circumstances to continue proclaiming the Kingdom and Jesus.
I’ve found this helpful in my mindset when it comes to Zoom because I’m starting to dread the amount of virtual meetings I have every day. Some meetings are necessary (like work meetings), but this helps me choose to take some additional meetings on top of the necessary ones as a deliberate way for Kingdom-work to continue in my life. So I’m not just zooming for the sake of zooming, but I’m doing so intentionally to help myself and others keep our eyes on the Jesus and His Kingdom. This helps me remember why these tiring virtual meetings are worth doing.
But notice that I said some additional meetings. One wise thing every Christian needs to do so is to think through how to balance being deliberate about ministry with pacing ourselves so we can do so sustainably without burning out. This is no different when it comes to virtual meetings! What is a sustainable pace for you? What is the right balance between doing the ministry we’ve been called to in loving one another, but not doing so much that you stop trusting in what God is doing and take it all on yourself (inevitably leading to overwhelming fatigue)?
Let’s think this through; Individually, together in our families, and in our AGs. And let’s love one another by helping each other get this balance right – especially when we can’t say yes to every meeting!
Here are two articles that help us understand why video chats like Zoom are so tiring and some things we can do to manage this fatigue: