Friday, April 10 2020
JIMS JOURNAL APRIL 2020
WOW...HOW THINGS HAVE CHANGED IN THE LAST THREE WEEKS! It beckons me to think back to Esther 4:14 (CSB) “If you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will come to the Jewish people from another place, but you and your father’s family will be destroyed. Who knows, perhaps you have come to your royal position for such a time as this.”
Former General Colin Powell wrote that “Leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help or concluded you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.”
We are in phase one of this crisis. We have not seen the worst yet. We are in a TRIAGE situation where we are scrambling to determine how we operate while we are out of a regular meeting pattern (The expectation is a minimum of 8-12 weeks). TRIAGE involves stabilizing your local situation. It means you hit PAUSE (NOT CANCEL) and PIVOT. We are not going to be able to do things the way we have always done them, but we have a great opportunity to try some new methods to communicate the greatest story ever told at a time where I believe people are going to be seeking HELP, HOPE, PRAYER like never before in my lifetime. This phase will ideally last (for those who are proactive) 2-3 weeks.
Phase two is we look to RENORMALIZE. We are going to prepare and plan for a “NEW NORMAL” as a people moving forward...to join Jesus in His mission. We can either choose to join Jesus or we will be left behind. PERIOD. Each year over 4400 churches close. I expect that number to be over 10,000 this year. Much of that will depend on people’s willingness to join Jesus in His mission to redeem a lost world. (see my four M’s later in the article) Phase three is to MOBILIZE. I said earlier that we are not at the worst of the crisis. Currently, as I am writing this, we are about two to three weeks away (into late April). It is impossible at this moment that I am writing this to see into a crystal ball and tell you how long it will take churches and our nation to recover from this. In the meantime, while we are assessing and doing triage and seeking to create a new normal, the mission of Christ goes on. We have ministry and mission ongoing in our communities that is going to be more important than ever. Those of you who have food pantries, your need are going to intensify exponentially. The same will be true of clothing rooms. Our inner city missions, the Moore Activity Center, The Cornerstone Fellowship (Covington), First Baptist Covington Ninth Street, Ninth Street Baptist (Covington), Oak Ridge and others are regular feeding sites for the homeless and children who are out of school (Help us add to this list by reporting any activity in your community). We are going to need to rally around them to help these missions through a season nobody expected. This is true of ALL our missions, including your Association staff and all the LOCAL ministries we support. The NKBA is taking immediate steps to cut back our budget 20% to anticipate possible shortfalls and then evaluate every 30 days. BUT AT THIS TIME NO NKBA missions (ongoing) are being negatively impacted. The NKBA is totally dependent upon the gifts of our churches to
continue supporting a wide range of ministries in our region, including our church plants and language missions (Chinese, Burmese, African Immigrant, Hispanic, Korean).
The fourth phase is FUTURIZE. This is when we can truly begin to recover and re-emerge as a NEW, leaner, more efficient, more focused ministry arm for Christ, taking back ground that has been lost and advancing for the cause of Christ!
All of this can be framed around the following: MEETINGS (using digital and other formats) that we will adjust with our delivery system, MESSAGING (using phones, social media, and everything at our disposal to communicate HOPE, POSITIVITY, ENCOURAGEMENT, HELP, and to NOT ADD TO ALL THE NOISE already going on in our media driven society. Most of that produces fear and panic and we need to encourage FAITH and PRAYER! MINISTRY (looking at local needs in mission, resourcing families and parents, to tell the story of Jesus in the way we LIVE, LOVE, and SERVE!). Connect with local schools and agencies and work hand in hand to build bridges of relationships that lead to Gospel conversations with a serving towel over our arms. Finally, MONEY. It takes money to do ministry. But we are being forced to look at this in a new way, from new ways of giving (online, etc..) to talking about money from a biblical viewpoint, of GENEROSITY and stories of God’s amazing grace in difficult times. We serve JEHOVAH JIREH-GOD IS OUR PROVIDER! IN HIM WE TRUST!
Here is my prayer for you all:
May the Heavenly Father, God of Creation keep and sustain us in all ways and at all times, including the next few weeks and months of uncertainty. May the Savior Jesus Christ, in whom all things hold together, grant us healing by His miraculous power to bring life and health out of what is intended for death and suffering. May the Holy Spirit soak us with the peace that passes understanding. And may the Church recommit to dependence on God’s provision in all things and at all times and recommit to joining JESUS in His redemptive mission like never before. In Jesus name, Amen.
Follow our social media pages:
Facebook: NKBA Northern KY Baptist Association and Praying For NKY
Instagram: 10K4NKBA (Jim Woolums)
You Tube Channel: Northern Kentucky Baptists
Our greatest days are ahead! Pray with us...pray for us...and let’s take back ground that we have lost and claim it for JESUS!
Your Lead Follower, JIM