This week, as I made preparations to meet with a committee to discuss our congregation’s re-entry plans, I began to reflect on the changes our church has had to make in order to persevere through this pandemic. Like many churches, we quickly made accommodations to ensure that we would still be able to share the Word of God, despite not being able to physically convene together.
I remember those weeks back in March when the church leadership was scrambling to make decisions to ensure we’d still be able to do the work God has called us to do. In light of the threat of a global pandemic, how would our church be able to help people avoid what I like to call the “panic-demic” and still find the opportunity to share an encouraging Word from God?
Pastoring through a pandemic has been one of most challenging times of my ministry. I am busier than ever before and I have definitely lost track of the number of Zoom meetings I’ve had since March. In the midst of this, however, the crisis has blessed me with an abundance of opportunities that I may have otherwise missed. By leveraging the power of technology, social media, and discovering the gifts within the body of Christ, we’ve been able to expand our reach in new and exciting ways.
It’s amazing what strength and ability God is able to squeeze out of us when we surrender to him!
One thing I’ve tried to communicate throughout this pandemic is that we’re all in this together. I am reminded of the scripture in Ecclesiastes that says, “And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart” (Ecclesiastes 4:12, NASB). It’s one thing to understand this from an individual perspective, but when we apply this to the entire body of Christ, it’s a testament to the strength we have when we are all working together, serving the same purpose. By pooling our talents and working together, we’ve been able to have a tremendous impact within our local church and our community. We’ve also seen our members allow God to use them in ways that have increased their faith and allowed them to discover and use their spiritual gifts for the kingdom of God.
It’s been such an inspiration to see the ways the body of Christ has come together to share time, talent and resources to ensure that the Word of God continues to be shared and the Great Commission continues to be carried out (Matthew 28:19-20).
None of this took God by surprise and he’s using you to minister in an unusual time in history. As we prepare for the uncertainty of the next few months, one thing is for sure: This testing of our faith will produce the endurance we need to continue the fight against the attacks of the enemy. Therefore, it is imperative that we remember to “let endurance have its perfect result, so that we may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:4, NASB). Continue to arm yourself with God’s Word and cover yourself, and those around you, with prayer. We’re all in this together, and through Christ, we’ll persevere.
These words of encouragement come to you as a part of an initiative from the COVID-19 Task Force for church leaders to be “together for the unfinished task” during this time of uncertainty.