Once again, a preface, I'm not looking for a debate. There is enough of that on nearly every other post above and below this one. I just wanted to offer a thought.
While our churches are fretting over cancelling some services, (and trust me I get it. It's a bit stressful and frustrating to put it mildly. I'm sitting here at 2:00 A.M.thinking about it) I think it is possible that we are missing some perspective. I believe we are being presented with an opportunity like we have never experienced before. What if, as the body of Christ, instead of being fretful, angry and anxious we began to leverage these circumstances into a push forward of God's Kingdom that is, as a fellow pastor put it, unprecedented. (By the way Daniel Fox I watched every minute of your Sunday service. It was fantastic!!) You all should check it out right here https://www.riverviewcf.church/live
Anyway, our nation is confused, scared, unsure, angry, divided, lost and you name what else. It is a nation that knows not what to do and so hoards toilet paper to try and feel better. This is not good. I mean really! Come on!! So, what are we, as pastors, leaders and believers supposed to do about it?
What is needed now is a unified voice of a fearless group of believers who can offer salvation, hope, light, life and freedom. Our nation is in need of a voice of peace. We can be that voice!! If we choose to accept the challenge; But what does that fearless voice look like?
Some would say that not having services shows that we, as a church, lack faith and trust in God. Respectfully, I disagree. I do not believe we show courage, leadership and hope by fighting against things that cannot stop the Gospel. The Coronavirus cannot stop the Gospel. Government restrictions cannot stop the Gospel. The temporary inability to gather in a building on a certain day or days cannot stop the Gospel! I contend that we show courage by continuing to innovate, adapt and overcome every barrier in an effort to continue preaching the Gospel until our dying breath. JUST LIKE THE CHURCH IN THE BOOK OF ACTS DID!! THIS IS WHAT COURAGE IS! As pastors, leaders and believers this is what we have been called to! This is why we were born! We were made for this!! Why do we have such a hard time seeing that? Are we really so caught up in the routine of how we do things, we can’t see the opportunity right in front of us? Don’t shoot me. I’m just thinking out loud here.
I imagine that if Paul the Apostle were here, or Peter or any one of the disciples they would be ecstatic to have the resources that we have today to openly and boldly communicate the truth of Jesus Christ. I'm sure they would be live streaming the internet into absolute submission. Why should we not take the opportunities we have and use them to the best of our abilities? Understand, I’m not thrilled with what is happening anymore than anyone else, but instead of wasting time complaining about it, I am going to choose to try to kick it right in the teeth, overcome it and advance the Kingdom of God. Will I or we do it all perfectly? Most likely not, but if God breathes on our effort to persevere, we will succeed. Perhaps the Lord will act in our behalf. No?
I believe with the strongest of conviction that if we seek God, if we trust God, if we are faithful to our calling, He will work out our relationships. He will work out the finances. He will work out everything we are concerned about. He knows what to do. We simply need to be open to let Him do it through us....or we could just sit around wringing our hands and wait until we are told we can go back inside the four walls of our churches and preach to those who show up. (which by the way, does not include a whole lot of people we can reach during this time) I mean, I guess that’s a plan too.
To all of you that are fighting the good fight of faith whether you agree with me or not, I care about you, I am praying for you and I am trusting God to do great things through you.