The CUC staff team spent most of June discussing Clifton Strengths Finder as part of staff training and development time. The Strengths Finder program highlights thirty-four core strengths that make a person. Each person is unique in their top five strengths and how they function. It was fun and illuminating to see how each staff member is a different combination of five predominant strengths and to see how those strengths play out in all that we do. One of those strengths is Adaptability. Strengths Finder says, “People exceptionally talented in the Adaptability theme prefer to go with the flow. They tend to be ‘now’ people who take things as they come and discover the future one day at a time.” –www.gallup.com
While we might not all have adaptability in our top 5 strengths, it is also a posture towards life that I believe we can learn to lean into. This season of COVID has forced each of us in some way to wrestle with and to live out adaptability. Adaptability is the gift that teaches us how to make lemonade out of lemons. It teaches us to pivot when one path is closed-off and to figure out the next best way forward.
What is the alternative to adaptability? I wrestled with this a lot this year; I think we all have. The alternative is anger, frustration, impatience, maybe pouting. There is no great alternative to adaptability. Adapting is something we all must learn to do or else… we become stuck. None of us want to be stuck in paralysis, unable to move forward.
In this season, whether adaptability comes easily as a strength of yours or if it’s a muscle you’ve had to learn how to develop, keep exercising your adaptability muscles. I realize adaptability is something I value as a person, and I value in a church. The Church (big/universal) is always being invited to adapt, and to change. We are invited to be aware of our surroundings, our culture, and our communities and grow with them and towards their needs. When a church is not willing to adapt, well, they become irrelevant, and we all know plenty of irrelevant churches. I think one of CUC’s unique strengths is Adaptability.
Clearly this COVID season has challenged everyone’s adaptability. And a major construction project during COVID challenges our adaptability every single day. As I choose to lean toward adaptability, I realize our construction project is a short-term push that will lead to great benefit in the long run, so I’m learning to roll with the punches. (Is that the right analogy? No one is punching me.) Perhaps the greater challenge is continuing to adapt and grow, to develop and create as we lean into a vibrant future together as CUC.