This global pandemic is an unprecedented time for churches. All the newness and uncertainty begs the question, can the church survive this? After all, people gathering bodily together in community is a fundamental part of church. With stay-at-home orders in place and groups larger than ten banned, it can be hard to believe that the church will be able to come out on the other end of COVID-19 unscathed.
The thing is, as scary and unexpected as this pandemic is for us, God is not surprised. He established his church as part of his mission, and that mission is bigger than this virus.
Opportunities for the Church that Come with COVID-19
The Internet is a mission field. And across the board, the local church has been slow to enter in.
The reality is, we’re in an age where the majority of us do not try new things without checking it out online first. The “front door” of the church is no longer the physical front door. And COVID-19 is creating the space and urgency for churches to catch up with this cultural shift.
Check out the full conversation with Crossing Pastors Keith Simon and Patrick Miller or keep reading below.
(Listen here or on your favorite streaming platform.)
Actual Threats to the Church
Viewing the changes from Coronavirus or the unknown of online ministry as threats to the church can make us miss the actual threats out there. We ask, “Can the church survive COVID-19?” But we don’t ask, “Can the church survive gossip, division, factionalism, self-interest, etc?” with the same degree of urgent concern.
These have been the real threats to the church since the first Christians gathered together.
God is bigger than Coronavirus. COVID-19 will not overthrow his church. And the internet will not slow his mission. But division, critical attitudes, selfish expectations, and hypocrisy in his church can do a lot of damage.
Our Responsibility as Members of God’s Family
Being part of God’s family means bearing with each other, loving each other, protecting each other from destruction and division, fighting for one another (not against).
Our calling is to be peace-bringers, not accusers. Lovers of Jesus’s church, not agents of the enemy. And God is glorified through this mutually-sacrificial love of one another. He builds his kingdom through our commitment to community.
As we think about the post-Coronavirus world. As we eagerly look forward to gathering together in person once again. Let’s use this time apart to recommit ourselves to God’s vision for his family in the local church.
For more resources on how we as a church can respond to the Coronavirus, check out our Coronavirus Response page.