Suggested Reading: Matthew 28:18-20
I recently wrote a post about What I’ve Done During COVID-19. God has been teaching me valuable lessons during this time, and I know that He is teaching many of you as well. While I believe that there are things that we are learning as individuals, I also think that God has adjustments for us to make collectively and corporately. Here are three things that I would encourage churches to do during this time.
1. Assess Your Past
I am blessed to minister in a local church that has been richly blessed over the past several years. The leadership and members of our congregation have embraced a new vision, and God is giving us new opportunities to serve Him and others. I pray that each of you are currently experiencing the same in your own lives and the lives of your fellowships. Having said this, I believe that churches are to live in a constant state of assessment. We should always be looking for more effective ways to honor and glorify God by fulfilling His command to make disciples of all nations. We now live in an abbreviated time where we can take a moment to do this in a more in-depth way. We should be performing both qualitative and quantitative assessments and asking ourselves hard questions: Are we fulfilling our mission to glorify God? Does our programming, budgeting, planning and emphasis reflect our vision that God has called us to pursue? Are we stuck? What do we need to adjust in order to align or re-align with our vision?
2. Look to the Future
It’s important not to be constantly looking backward. We should celebrate our history. We should learn from our past, but we should look to and embrace our future. We cannot change our past, but we can impact the future. Once we have looked back, we should immediately take what God has shown us and look forward. Start praying for wisdom. Discuss and communicate how God is working in our hearts as church leaders. Plan the necessary means by which to implement all that God has shown us.
3. Minister in the Present
Assess your past, plan for the future, but don’t allow either to overshadow your ministry opportunities in the present. We only live in and control the present. I am encouraged by what I have observed in many of God’s people during this time. There is a renewed desire to serve and reach out to the world around us. I see a refreshed focus on the gospel. Right now, people are fearful and searching. We have what they need, and we should be actively finding creative ways to share the gospel and meet those needs. Look to the needs of individuals and the needs of sister churches around our nation.
COVID-19 will be a deciding time for many local churches. In many ways it will make or break many of our fellowships. I’ve seen many say that every organization is now a start-up. May we all start in a way that is pleasing to our Lord.