The church has always prospered under pressure. For the church, this is not the time to panic, but to be more intentional on the mission God has called us. I cling to the promise that Jesus gave us, “I will build my church, and the gates of hades will not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18)
Looking to the future, the way we “do” church must change, but some things can’t change. We need God’s wisdom to discern the best for His people.
- We will be SMALLER. Not smaller overall, but smaller in our gatherings. If the statistics are correct, 20% of our people will not return to our normal church services after the pandemic. Small micro-church expressions are replacing large church services. Believe it or not, many church members are connecting better together than before the pandemic.
- We will be STREAM-LINED. The COVID crisis had led us to reexamine which ministries matter. It’s been a time to refocus and recalibrate everything we do. Staff, programs, and budgets may have to be paired down to survive and flourish in the future.
- We will be SUFFERING. I’m talking about suffering because of our commitment to Christ. Christians are being persecuted in many parts of the world. In America, we have not experienced much of that, but that may change. Our culture is increasing antagonistic towards the church. We shouldn’t let it catch us off guard. Be prepared for it. Keep the faith.
- We will be SIGNIFICANT. God is working. The greatest days for the church are ahead. Someone observed that “prayer is trending.” People are coming together for prayer more than ever. Recently over 50,000 people gathered along with thousands online for prayer from our nation’s capital.
BEFORE YOU GO
As we come together, we need to provide plenty of space and grace! Space, physically – social distancing; and philosophically – how we go about being the church. We need grace to agree to disagree. “In essentials, unity. In non-essentials, charity. In all things, Jesus Christ.”