Faith Leader Describes A Redemptive Roadmap For Recovery
In a recent survey, business wire reports that 62% of Americans think that the pandemic will end before 2022 and 58% used the time during quarantine to physically and mentally improve their lives. Pastor Jesse Bradley of Grace Community Church in Seattle believes we have an incredible opportunity for deep transformation in our nation.
“Many people have had time in the last year to slow down and reflect on their desires, priorities, relationships, and values. It is healthy to recalibrate and cultivate new habits and goals. God often does His greatest in our most difficult seasons.” So what are some practical steps forward? Pastor Bradley believes that our country needs to unite including all generations and ethnicities. Bradley says, “We are the United States of America, one nation under God, and in God we trust. These have been the slogans we have carried for decades, and now is a time to live them out together.”
Volunteer Match shares some encouraging trends: nonprofit representatives are sharing that heavy volunteer cancellations are decreasing and volunteer turnout is rising. Many organizations are creating more virtual volunteer opportunities. Also, less nonprofit organizations are very concerned about their budget (this percentage has dropped from 53% to 39% in the last two months). Bradley explains, “Life is more fulfilling when we serve one another. We come alive when we connect our passion and purpose. A self-consumed, me-first lifestyle is simply not satisfying. When you love your neighbor well, you can change the culture and make your community a better place.”
There was a recent article in the Harvard Business Review that highlighted the importance of leadership during a crisis. Best practices included making timely decisions with conviction, getting ahead of changing circumstances, owning responsibility, welcoming accountability, and caring for your team. Pastor Bradley explains, “Leadership is influence. We need courageous and compassionate leaders. Leadership is far more than a position and a title, it boils down to who you are and your love for other people. Authentic, unselfish leaders empower other people and move us closer to health and restoration. Many people have a far greater influence than they realize in their families, workplaces, online, and in their neighborhoods. As the number of Covid cases decline, people are rising up with fresh vision and a renewed passion. Our country thrives when local, state, and national leaders collaborate with wisdom, morality, and kindness.”
The Conversation states that researchers have found that in over 90 countries online searches for the word “prayer” have reached their highest levels ever. Trauma recovery can include finding meaning in the challenging seasons of life. Seeking God through meditation and music, receiving love in a community of faith, and rich times of reflection, silence and learning can all be positive coping mechanisms. In times of uncertainty, loss, change, and disappointment, we look for healing in many forms. In Seattle, Bradley says: “Every month more people are returning to services, volunteering, and deciding to follow Jesus. People are watching our services online and letting us know they want to be baptized even before they have ever set foot in our campus building. We are also seeing an amazing response around the world. Prayer requests come in from all nations and our video content travels as people are turning to God in waves that we have never seen before. The hunger to have a vibrant spiritual life is very evident. Jesus brings a real hope that has no limits and the pandemic has helped many people realize they have spiritual longings that can be satisfied in Him. It is powerful when someone can truly say that it is well with my soul.”
Jesse was an atheist who discovered a relationship with God at Dartmouth College. He played professional soccer as a goalkeeper before a tragic illness ended his career. He was fighting for his life for a year, and it took ten years to recover. Jesse is a pastor, speaker, and author who spreads a welcomed message of life-giving transformation and resilient hope. For more information, visit JesseBradley.org