This pandemic has caused me to think a lot about the state of the church. I believe much about the church has already been exposed, and much will be revealed when we are on the other side of this. Some of what I will share will be more of a hopeful forecast, but I will share it anyway.
I see the state of the church pre-COVID-19 as attractional. It is almost like each local church is similar to a dating relationship – look good to draw him in, do things in order to keep him, but not do the best job of being attentive after time passes.
I see that the state of the church mid-COVID-19 will be surprised. We have not had a prolonged time (in my lifetime) when we had been faced with missing a few weeks of worship together with the potential of more than that. We have not had to cancel rehearsals and meetings, pausing much of our way of ministry for a prolonged period. We honestly don’t know what to do. One pastor commented on Facebook that we have spent most days trying to find ways to fill the seats, while now we must focus on how to get the message to the people. We are at a place where we must figure out how to do the work of Jesus Christ outside a well-planned church service.
I see the state of the post-COVID-19 church as refocused. If we allow the lessons of this season to teach us, we will become much better at daily fulfilling the Great Commission rather than just trying to do it on Sunday. We will find ways to strike up gospel conversations and actually be the church. We will learn the value of making contact with people by phone conversations and video calls, making use of every possible way to connect. The church of the Lord Jesus will learn the value of the family of God once again and love each other the way we should have all along.
I would love to hear and read the thoughts of others about this matter. Some of you are much deeper in the trenches of church life than I am. We may disagree or have a different perspective on the matter, but I do believe we can agree on one thing – what we do now can change the trajectory of the American church. Let’s determine to change it for the better!