Saturday, August 01 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to shake and shape the world, so much sickness, death and economic destruction. Our first concern should be the hurting, but often our thoughts turn more inward. I am concerned about life after the pandemic, but maybe not in the way you may think.
As your Associational missionary, I am first deeply committed to following Christ and join Him in accomplishing His clearly stated mission. I wrote in last month’s journal that “If our agenda is anything other than glorifying Christ by fulfilling the Great Commission and the Great Commandment we will get derailed into matters that divide us rather than unite us. Those commands bring us together.” It is to that end that I will always seek to serve.
While many say that “things will never be the same” I am less concerned that the church will forever changed by this pandemic but rather am more concerned that we will snap right back into our old ways. In my lifetime as a student of history and trends, the best predictor of future behavior is the immediate past. Ed Stetzer writes, “While history doesn’t always repeat itself, it does tend to rhyme.”
WE MUST NOT GO BACK TO NORMAL. Instead, we must learn and take the BEST of what we are seeing now and continue those things (like live streaming our services) focusing on small group discipling, reaching people street by street in our neighborhoods, and using other online technologies to accomplish some meetings and allow people to be at home instead of away from home.
WE MUST CONTINUE TO DEPLOY THE CHURCH. Small Group/Sunday School leaders/Deacons are functioning like servant leaders/lay pastors to engage and care for the flock. I have seen people caring for one another more. I think God could be using this time to raise up NEW LEADERS (I Timothy 3) for a NEW NORMAL. I don’t want to go back to our consumer driven church that exists on the preferences of members like a country club.
WE MUST APPRECIATE GATHERED WORSHIP BUT NOT MAKE IT AN IDOL. Gathered worship IS one of the marks of a biblical church. When it was taken from us, it was hard. But look at how people have DEPLOYED in serving! WE
DON’T WANT TO LOSE THE SCATTERED CHURCH AS WE RETURN TO THE GATHERED CHURCH!
We have been given a chance in a fresh, new way to JOIN JESUS IN HIS MISSION! It’s a chance to be better and do better. Let’s not miss this...the eternity of countless souls are at stake.
I love serving alongside you.