Archive | February, 2021

What is your church doing?

1 Feb

We are almost one solid year into the Covid Pandemic and still trying to figure things out as a world, a nation, and in the church. What is your church doing about it?

I learned early on that we needed to strip out the politics and emotion of all that is going around us. That has been confirmed as I have seen friends (healthier than me) come close to being put on a ventilator… That has been confirmed again and again as I have seen and dealt firsthand with families who are struggling through Covid deaths. There is no doubt that Covid is real and it does massive damage to PEOPLE and LIVES.

I saw a social media post yesterday that broke my heart. A leader in our state was bashing an un-named church (but everyone in the comment section seemed to know who it was) because they demanded that he comply with their Covid rules. That did not end well. Then it ended up as a bashing session on social media. There are several things that break my heart about this:

  • Why didn’t this respected leader talk this over with the leaders of that church before taking it to the public? The North American church took on a black-eye yesterday because of this…
  • In the court of public opinion, emotions took over and judgment was made without even a peep of defense from the church in question. (Ironically, the church in question has both a masked service and a mask-optional service….)
  • People on this post questioned the lack of faith by this church. More on that in a moment.
  • People who mock Christianity had a field day with this. Without knowing or caring about both sides of the story, people of faith are being mocked.

I have been a fan of Carey Nieuwhof (church leadership guru) for some time now. When everything hit us between the eyes last March, I certainly had more time to read his insights. I don’t agree with 100% of what he has written, but I can guarantee that 100% of his writings have made me think! He has helped guide and nudge many churches in the right direction during this last year. Early on, he wrote something that has stuck with me. While this is not an exact quote, the heart of it is that “we churches need to work within our context. Do not criticize other churches for how they respond to this time because no two churches are alike!” The church staff at EBC talked about that a lot early on and have tried to do what God has led us to do and just bless and pray others who are doing more or less.

At Ebenezer, we are blessed to have a Health Team. Up until this pandemic their main job was to be first responders at church events. They have helped hundreds of people and probably saved a life or two with early intervention at church events. I am grateful for them. This team is made up of healthcare providers: Doctors, nurses, NPs, PAs, techs, all of whom are people who know what they are doing. And they are all too familiar with Covid and what it does. With all of my heart I believe they have worked hard with our church staff to create and navigate a landscape where we can worship and build the Kingdom, and do it in a wise way.

During this past year, I have often heard part of 2 Timothy 1:7 quoted, but I would like to share the entire verse:

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (NKJV)

Let that sink in for a moment. And, before you question the faith of your church, ask yourself what God might be doing in the midst of your leaders? Then, ask your leaders? And, even better, come alongside them and help them move things towards GOD’S VISION….. NOT YOURS.

And if you have a problem with your church, do the right thing and the Biblical thing, and go to them. They really are trying to do this in a spirit of power, love, and sound judgement that comes from God.